BEREA, Ky. (April 1, 2013) — On Saturday, April 6, Lyle Roelofs will be inaugurated as the ninth president of Berea College at 10 a.m. in Seabury Arena. This event will be streamed live online here. A celebration will be conducted at Boone Tavern Hotel after the ceremony.
Roelofs (pronounced Roo-lahfs) assumed his presidency on July 1, 2012, after the retirement of Larry Shinn, who served as Berea College’s president for 18 years.
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 of 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.
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.
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, Roelofs enjoys reading, cooking and various outdoor activities including bird watching, camping and hiking. He is also an avid runner who runs with students twice a week and will run in the upcoming Derby City Mini-marathon in Louisville. He and his wife Lauren have two sons, both of whom are in graduate school.
Berea College, founded by ardent abolitionists and radical reformers, continues today as an educational institution still firmly rooted in its historic purpose “to promote the cause of Christ.” All of its students receive a four-year tuition scholarship, but must work on campus in an array of jobs.