Northwestern names ninth president

Greg Christy, vice president for institutional advancement at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D., will become the ninth president of Northwestern College in January. Christy announced today he has accepted the offer from Northwestern’s Board of Trustees to become the college’s new leader.

“We are excited Greg Christy will be Northwestern College’s next president,” says Drew Vogel, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “He brings a collaborative, team-oriented leadership style that has been proven highly effective over the last 12 years as a senior executive at an academic institution. His warm relational skills and ability to work with others to form vision, execute strategic plans and build support for the mission of Northwestern will serve the college well.

“Greg was drawn to Northwestern because of our commitment to be an institution of both academic excellence and unwavering Christian faith,” says Vogel. “He identifies personally with our mission to be a distinctively Christian college and senses a call to serve Northwestern in leadership.”

Christy says he is “humbled and grateful” to be appointed to Northwestern’s presidency. “Northwestern is widely recognized for being a high-quality academic institution with a very strong faculty and a Christ-centered focus,” he says. “I have always had great respect for the college and its role in Christian higher education as an institution affiliated with the Reformed Church in America. I will work diligently to be a good steward of the human and financial resources the college has been blessed with and invite alumni and friends to continue to provide the support necessary for Northwestern to achieve its next level of academic achievement.”

The president-elect says one of his first goals will be to immerse himself in the campus community. “Any institution is only as strong as its people. I have been extremely impressed with the people of Northwestern I have met, and I want to get to know even better the people who make Northwestern the special place it is. While I am familiar with many things that make Northwestern unique, I have much more to learn about its numerous strengths so I can most effectively represent the college to its various constituencies.”

Christy will join Northwestern’s administration after directing Dakota Wesleyan’s fund-raising efforts since 1995. Under his leadership, the university has successfully completed a $40 million capital campaign, which included building the George and Eleanor McGovern Library and Center for Leadership and Public Service, plus facilities for the arts, worship and residence life. Christy has also led a campus-wide master planning/building task force. He oversees staff members in the areas of annual giving, major gifts, development, alumni relations, gift planning, grant writing, prospect research and athletics.

Christy was selected following a nearly yearlong process in which the Presidential Search Committee reviewed numerous nominees and conducted off-campus interviews with several candidates. Christy was the only finalist selected for an official campus visit, which took place Sept. 9–11.

“The search process was reflective of the commitment of all Northwestern’s constituencies toward the institution,” says Vogel. “From the recommendations of candidates we received early in the process to the feedback obtained from faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni and community members following the Christys’ campus visit, we consistently found a great care and love for Northwestern on behalf of its constituents.”

Before joining the Dakota Wesleyan staff, Christy served as tickets and promotions manager for the South Dakota State University athletic department and as promotions coordinator in the Iowa State University athletic department.

A native of Ottumwa, Iowa, Christy earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. He received a master’s degree in physical education and sports management from Western Illinois University.

Christy’s wife, Michelle, is a native of Storm Lake, Iowa, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Simpson. She worked as a church ministry assistant for 10 years before leaving to further pursue a writing and speaking ministry. The Christys have three children: Ryan (13), Madalyn (9) and Kyle (6).

Christy will replace Dr. Bruce Murphy, Northwestern’s president since 2001, who is retiring this fall.