Dr. Loren E. Swartzendruber


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Dr. Loren E. Swartzendruber took office on Jan. 1, 2004, as eighth president of Eastern Mennonite University. He succeeds Joseph L. Lapp, who concluded a 16-year tenure in May, 2003. EMU academic provost Dr. Beryl H. Brubaker served as interim president through December of 2003.

Swartzendruber was the presidential selection committee's "candidate of choice" to become the next EMU president. He subsequently received a unanimous endorsement from the EMU board of trustees and the Mennonite Education Agency (MEA). He will be officially inaugurated in ceremonies Mar. 27, 2004.

"Providing learning and service opportunities for students in a Christian higher education environment on behalf of the Mennonite Church USA has been, and will continue to be, a high priority for me," Swartzendruber said of his appointment.

Swartzendruber came to EMU from Hesston College, a two-year Mennonite school in Hesston, Kan., where he served as president since 1994. Before that, he was associate executive secretary of the former Mennonite Board of Education in Elkhart, Ind., for ten years.

A native of Kalona, Iowa, Swartzendruber graduated from EMU in 1976 with a bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts and earned a master of divinity degree from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in 1979. He received a doctor of ministry degree in church leadership from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2000. His thesis focused on "Increasing Mennonite Parental Involvement in the College Choice."

After graduating from EMU, Swartzendruber was an associate director of admissions and part time associate campus pastor at his alma mater. He was ordained to the Christian ministry in 1975 at Lower Deer Creek Mennonite Church near Kalona, Iowa, and was pastor at Salford Mennonite Church, Harleysville, Pa., 1978-83.

He recently served as secretary of the Kansas Independent College Association, and as a member of the College Fund and the American Association of Higher Education. He was a board member of the Harvey County (Kan.) Historical Society and the Hesston Historical Society. He is currently a member of the Hesston Mennonite Church.

Swartzendruber is married to Patricia Swartzendruber, a native of Wellman, Iowa. She works part time as a regional development consultant with Advancement Associates. The couple has four adult children, three of whom are EMU alumni.

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