Jack R. Ohle, President

Jack R. Ohle, 16th president of Gustavus Adolphus College

On July 1, 2008, Jack R. Ohle officially became the 16th President of Gustavus Adolphus College. Ohle succeeds James L. Peterson, who retired after serving the College since July 2003.

Prior to coming to Gustavus, Ohle served as President of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa for ten years. At Wartburg, Ohle oversaw significant growth and innovation while strongly emphasizing the College’s mission of service, leadership, and faith as a College of the Church. His tenure brought the completion of $104 million in capital improvements, including state-of-the-art centers for science and wellness. Fund raising climbed, with “Campaign Wartburg” achieving $90 million against an $88 million goal. Under Ohle, Wartburg added 21 full-time faculty members, supporting more individual attention to students. The College expanded its campus ministry and began a vocational discernment program called “Discovering and Claiming Our Callings,” made possible through a $2.5 million grant from the Lilly Foundation. Ohle also opened a Center for Community Engagement. Throughout his decade in the presidency, relationships with alumni and parents strengthened, and the student body grew larger and more diverse.

Before accepting the presidency at Wartburg, Ohle served Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, for 11 years, first as vice president for institutional advancement and later as senior vice president for external affairs and secretary to the university. Prior to that, Ohle was vice president for advancement at Nebraska Wesleyan University for ten years.

Ohle, the third most senior president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Colleges and Universities, has chaired the executive committee of the Council of Presidents of the ELCA Colleges and Universities. He has also chaired both the Lutheran Educational Conference of North America (LECNA) Presidents’ Council and the board of trustees of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Ohle holds a B.A. in social work from Ohio Northern University and an M.A. in higher education administration from Bowling Green State University. He did graduate work toward a Master of Divinity degree at Hamma School of Theology in Springfield, Ohio. He also holds an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary.

Ohle is married to Kirsten (Kris) Lindquist Ohle. The couple has three adult sons: Robert, John, and Thomas.