Edward F. Leonard , Ph.D. » Directory

Edward F. Leonard, Ph.D.

President of the College
Office President's Office Presser Hall Phone: (785) 227-3380, ext. 8102
Photo of Edward F. Leonard , Ph.D.


Edward F. Leonard III, Ph.D. began as Bethany’s 13th president on August 1, 2007. He came to Bethany from Wilmington College in Ohio, where he served as vice president of college advancement for nine years. Prior to that Leonard served William Jewell College and Georgia College in the areas of admissions, alumni, and development.

Over Leonard’s tenure, Bethany College has seen success in the following areas:

  • 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 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 14% from 537 to 626
  • 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 Bud Pearson Swedish Chapel and Mabee Welcome Center, the first fully-fundraised building in over 30 years
  • Launching the largest fundraising campaign in the college’s history at a $25 million stretch goal and a $20 million base goal
  • Enhancing the campus’ facilities and technology 79% from a net $6.3 million to a net $11.3 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, Leonard’s service to higher education and the community over the last six years include:

  • Chair of Council of College & University Presidents of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Chair of Kansas Independent College Association
  • Board of Directors member of Kansas Independent College Finance Authority
  • Board of Directors member of Lutheran Educational Conference of North America
  • Vice Chair of International Chess Institute of the Midwest
  • Board of Directors Executive Committee member of Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery Foundation
  • Board of Directors member of Swedish Council of America
  • Board of Directors member of North American Interfraternity Conference
  • Member of City of Lindsborg’s Sister City Committee
  • WEBELOS Den Leader of Lindsborg’s Cub Scout Pack 120
  • Volunteer Coach of Lindsborg Wavemakers Swim Team
  • Former Chair of Associated Colleges of Central Kansas
  • Former Chair of Lambda Chi Alpha International Fraternity
  • Former Vice Chair of Kansas Independent College Finance Authority
  • Former Bear Den Leader of Lindsborg’s Cub Scout Pack 120
  • Former Wolf Den Leader of Lindsborg’s Cub Scout Pack 120

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.

Leonard holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from William Jewell College, a Master of Business Administration from St. Louis University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in educational administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Most importantly, Leonard and his wife, Sheila, have two sons, Quade and Thomas.

You can learn more about President Leonard by reading his e-portfolio at http://edleonard.foliotek.me/.


You can learn more about President Leonard by reading his e-portfolio at http://edleonard.foliotek.me/.

News All News