Gordon College President Dr. R. Judson Carlberg has announced his intention to retire on June 30, 2011, after 35 years of service at the multidenominational school in Wenham, Mass.
“For the last few years, my wife, Jan, and I have known we were in a season of transition, a season of anticipating our stepping down from leadership at Gordon College,” Carlberg said recently in a campus gathering of students, faculty and staff. “Yet as we enter this time of transition, I remain optimistic about Gordon’s future.”
Under Carlberg’s 19-year tenure as president, Gordon College reportedly experienced substantial growth and recognition for its academic excellence, global programs and campus facilities.
Since Carlberg was named Gordon's seventh president in 1992, numerous faculty research projects and distinctive academic programs grew as a direct result of his advocacy and support.
As a result of Carlberg’s vision to provide cross-cultural learning experiences for students, for example, and as part of his long-standing support of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities’ study-abroad programs, Carlberg actively participated in the development of the CCCU’s Latin American Studies Program in Costa Rica. And today, Gordon offers over 20 approved programs as well as the college’s own semester-long programs in foreign languages, the arts, urban studies and experiential education.
“Jud Carlberg’s leadership contributions as president have been significant to the growth and vision of Gordon College,” commented Kurt A. Keilhacker, chair of the Board of Trustees since 2005. “He has inspired a high level of commitment to scholarship while remaining true to the Christian values that have anchored the College since A. J. Gordon began it in 1889.”
During Carlberg's presidency, the college also increased total giving five-fold, which resulted in a substantial increase in scholarship aid as well as the new Bennett Athletics and Recreation Center, the Phillips Music Center and the Barrington Center for the Arts
Indicative of his ongoing commitment to the sciences, Carlberg also helped secure the creation of the Ken Olsen Science Center, an 80,000 square-foot, state of the art facility.
During the dedication of the science center, Dr. Francis S. Collins, former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute and current director of the National Institutes of Health, affirmed Gordon’s commitment to the study of all the sciences.
“Especially in a time when the next years will be so important, the need to have more educational experiences like yours could not be more apparent,” Collins said, according to the school's communication department. “This beautiful building stands for a future of science and faith working in tandem.”
A native of Fall River, Massachusetts, Carlberg holds degrees from Wheaton College in Illinois (B.A.), Denver Seminary (M.Div.) and Michigan State University (M.A., Ph.D.). He and his wife, Jan, an author and speaker, have two grown children and four grandchildren. Upon retirement, they will relocate to Gloucester, Mass., where they will rest and consider new opportunities in helping other campuses in the United States and abroad.
Board chair Keilhacker said the school will miss Carlberg's "tireless presence and faithful service to the great mission of equipping young women and men for worldwide Christian leadership."
"[B]ut we know that the foundation he helped build will provide a strong future for Gordon College,” he concluded.