Lyle Roelofs named ninth president of Berea College
October 24, 2011
The Berea College Board of Trustees has named Lyle D. Roelofs as the ninth president of the college. Dr. Roelofs currently serves as provost and dean of the faculty (on leave), and professor of physics at Colgate University. He will succeed current Berea president, Larry D. Shinn, who will retire on June 30, 2012.
“I am very honored to have been elected as Berea College’s ninth president,” Dr. Roelofs stated. “I have great admiration for Berea’s historic and continuing identity as an interracial, coeducational institution; for its enduring focus on the Appalachian region; and for educating talented students who have economic need. Berea is a strong academic institution, whose foundational Great Commitments provide a compelling vision for all who aspire to become part of its community. Berea’s distinctive heritage and institutional identity deserve wider attention and emulation.”
“We are extremely pleased and fortunate to find a candidate with such a wide range of demonstrated and effective leadership skills as reflected in Dr. Roelofs’ career,” stated Dr. David Shelton, chair of the Berea College Board of Trustees. “Dr. Roelofs’ background and experience have prepared him well for this vital role at Berea College.”
Roelofs is a graduate of Calvin College with a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in physics and mathematics. He earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, both in physics, at the University of Maryland and has more than 35 years experience in teaching and research at the University of Maryland, Calvin College, Brown University, Haverford College and Colgate University. He is also an experienced administrator, having served as associate provost at Haverford College, as provost and dean of faculty, and as interim president at Colgate University. A number of U.S. and international institutions have tapped Roelofs for visiting appointments and fellowships, such as the Sandia National Laboratory; the Fritz-Haber Institut in Berlin; University of Munich; Technical University Clausthal-Zellerfeld; and Universität Ulm.
Dr. Roelofs’ academic and scholarly research has resulted in substantial grants from such organizations as the Research Corporation, Pew Mid-Atlantic Cluster, and the National Science Foundation. Other honors include the Humboldt Research Fellowship and the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Teaching Fellowship. He held an endowed faculty chair at Haverford College as distinguished professor of computational science.
Dr. Roelofs has many accomplishments in research and pedagogy, numerous publications in refereed professional journals, as well as invited papers and presentations at national and international seminars and colloquia. Beyond his academic interests, Dr. Roelofs enjoys reading, running (for exercise and the occasional distance race), cooking, and various outdoor activities including bird watching, camping and hiking. He and his wife Lauren have two sons, both of whom are in graduate school.