Dr. John S. Kendall

John S. Kendall '49, distinguished psychology professor and 12th president of Gustavus Adolphus College, was a beloved and respected teacher and president. "Gustavus has been a most important part of my life," he reflected. "In each of my roles, I saw how Gustavus supported and encouraged the development and growth of its students. Each of us who is a graduate of the college owes Gustavus a significant debt."

He taught at the College for 30 years, from 1958 to 1965 and from 1968 to 1991, and also served several terms as psychology department chair (1959-1960, 1962-1965, and 1968-1975). In 1973 he received Gustavus's highest teaching honor, the Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching. The award citation stated:"John Kendall has an infectious interest in ideas; he likes stories; he likes his students; he has a zest for life. . . ." Students flocked to his classes.

He was named the College's 12th president in 1981 and served until 1991. During his presidency, Gustavus became a Phi Beta Kappa institution and received a prestigious grant from the F.W. Olin Foundation. The grant funded the building of a new science hall and additional science initiatives and also greatly increased the College's reputation for high quality science education.

Kendall was born Aug.28, 1928, in Rockford, Ill., and grew up in Minneapolis where he attended public schools. After earning his B.A. in psychology from Gustavus in 1949, he went on to receive an M.A. in psychology from the University of Minnesota (1951), a B.D. from Augustana Theological Seminary (now Lutheran School of Theology) in Chicago (1954), and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota (1959). Prior to his long career as a college teacher and administrator, Kendall served as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Ironwood, Mich., from 1955 to 1957. From 1965 to 1968, he was vice president for academic affairs and professor of psychology at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. He died on July 26, 2002

Throughout his life he was an active consultant or board member for numerous organizations. He was a consulting clinical psychologist for the Minnesota Department of Public Welfare for nearly two decades, a longtime panelist with the National Science Foundation, a member of the board of directors for Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota for many years, and a commissioner for the North Central Association (a major higher education accrediting body in the Midwest).

Read about the creation of the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning - " The faculty 'tool shed'" (Winter 2007-08)