Jack R. Ohle
Administrator and Trustee
On July 1, 2008, Jack R. Ohle officially became the 16th President of Gustavus Adolphus College. In his first two and a half years at Gustavus, President Ohle has spearheaded several important initiatives, including the Commission Gustavus 150 strategic planning process, the groundbreaking on a new academic building, the creation of the Center for Servant Leadership, the planning for the College's Sesquicentennial in 2012, and the rebranding of the College to include the Make Your Life Count brand line.
During President Ohle's tenure at Gustavus, the College has strengthened its relationship with the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden, announced plans to develop an outreach office in the Twin Cities at the American Swedish Institute, started to publish an Annual Report, announced the creation of two new endowed faculty chair positions, and the College's Board of Trustees has reorganized its operations and restated the College's bylaws.
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 and learning as a College of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. His tenure brought the completion of $104 million in capital improvements, including state-of-the-art centers for science and wellness. Fundraising grew significantly, 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. The College also opened a Center for Community Engagement. Throughout his decade in the presidency, relationship with alumni and parents strengthened, and the student body grew 25 percent larger and more diverse.
Before accepting the presidency at Wartburg, Ohle served Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, for 12 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). He has served, and continues to serve, on local, state, and national not-for-profit boards during his professional career.
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, and holds honorary degrees from Wartburg Theological Seminary and Ohio Northern.
Ohle is married to Kirsten (Kris) Lindquist Ohle. The couple has three adult sons: Robert, John, and Thomas.