Carl J. Strikwerda, Ph.D.
Carl J. Strikwerda is the fourteenth president of Elizabethtown College, in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. He assumed the office in August, 2011. Between 2004 and 2011, he served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Previously, he was Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas from 1989 to 2004. Earlier teaching positions included Calvin College, Hope College, the State University of New York at Purchase and the University of California, Riverside.
During the 2011-12 academic year, President Strikwerda led the College community through a strategic planning process that charted a course for the College through 2017. The Plan engendered the support of faculty, staff, students and alumni and focuses on gaining national recognition for the College, establishing real-world learning experiences for students, and ensuring the sustainability of the College through the wise stewardship of resources.
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he received a B.A. degree from Calvin College, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1983, focusing all his degrees on the history of modern Europe. He is the author or editor of three books on European and global history and has written numerous articles and book reviews for scholarly journals. The history of globalization, business and economic history, and World War One have been the major areas of his recent teaching and research. His scholarship has been supported by fellowships from the Belgian American Educational Foundation and the German Marshall Fund, and by grants from the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the German Academic Foreign Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst).
President Strikwerda has long been active in promoting international study, organizing programs in European Studies and International Studies, leading study abroad programs in Europe, expanding the teaching of Arabic and Chinese, and creating international ties with universities in Great Britain and China, as well as lecturing on international business and global history in business schools and for community groups.
In professional service, he served as Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, the nation's largest association of arts and sciences deans. In this capacity, he brought the headquarters of the Council to the College of William and Mary and oversaw its national office. He also served as the historical consultant to the National World War One Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. While he served as associate dean at the University of Kansas and dean at William and Mary, he was instrumental in securing grants from the U.S. Department of Education, and the Ford, Freeman, Gates, Hewlett, and Mellon foundations.
His community service includes leadership positions in a labor union and in several religious organizations--congregations and campus ministry. While dean at William and Mary, he worked closely with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the nation's oldest living museum.