Edward F. Leonard III began as Bethany’s 13th president on August 1, 2007. He came to Bethany from Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio, where he served as vice president of college advancement for nine years. Prior to that Dr. Leonard served William Jewell College and Georgia College in the areas of admissions, alumni, and development.
Over the last six years during Dr. Leonard’s tenure Bethany College has seen success in:
- Developing a bold and audacious vision and strategic directions – As One Bethany we will soar bigger, better, and stronger, guiding student success and with them co-creating the best total experience by living Bethany Pathway while qualitatively renewing each component of the Bethany experience and by focusing our resources to deliver results or to add value.
- Reaffirming the college’s guiding principles through clarity in identify and mission, core values and its promise to students.
- Imagineering the Bethany College of the 21st century through four missional directions of discovery, reflection & vocation, servant leadership, global citizenship and sustainable living which resulted in a new interdisciplinary general education curriculum (Bethany Pathway), a new first-year experience program (Bethany Quest) and strategic partnerships with MindFire Academy (Wichita, Kansas), Harlaxton College (Grantham, England), Karlstad University (Karlstad, Sweden) and Linnaeus University (Växjö, Sweden).
- Growing enrollment 24% from 537 to 665.
- Increasing freshmen-to-sophomore retention from 53% to 64%
- Raising almost $3.9 million (exceeding the goal of $3.5 million) toward the construction of the first fully-fundraised building (chapel & welcome center) in over 30 years.
- On target to completing a year earlier than planned the largest fundraising campaign in the college’s history at $20 million.
- Enhancing the campus’ facilities and technology by $9.25 million.
- Receiving reaffirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the National Schools of Music, and initial accreditation and reaffirmation of accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Athletic Training Education.
A champion of engagement Dr. Leonard’s service to higher education and the community over the last six years include:
- Chair, Council of College & University Presidents of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Chair, Kansas Independent College Association
- Board of Directors, Kansas Independent College Finance Authority
- Board of Directors, Lutheran Educational Conference of North America
- Board of Directors/Executive Committee, Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery Foundation
- Board of Directors, Swedish Council of America
- Board of Directors, North American Interfraternity Conference
- Member, City of Lindsborg’s Sister City Committee
- WEBELOS Den Leader, Lindsborg’s Cub Scout Pack 120
- Volunteer Coach, Lindsborg Wavemakers Swim Team
- Former chair, Associated Colleges of Central Kansas
- Former chair, Lambda Chi Alpha International Fraternity
- Former vice chair, Kansas Independent College Finance Authority
- Former vice chair, International Chess Institute of the Midwest
- Former Bear Den Leader, Lindsborg’s Cub Scout Pack 120
- Former Wolf Den Leader, Lindsborg’s Cub Scout Pack 120
Dr. Leonard has been recognized by the Independent College Advancement Association with the Ernest E. Sheetz Mentor Award, is a recipient of William Jewell College’s Citation for Achievement and an inductee in the William Jewell College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Dr. Leonard holds a B.A. in philosophy from William Jewell College, an M.B.A. from St. Louis University and a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Most importantly Dr. Leonard and his wife, Sheila, have two sons, Quade and Thomas.
You can learn more about Dr. Leonard by reading his e-portfolio at http://edleonard.foliotek.me/.