October 9, 2013 at 10:47am

The Millikin University Board of Trustees today announced the election of" Dr. Patrick E. White as Millikin University'€™s 15th president.

Dr. White is currently serving as interim president at Millikin, a position he began July 2013. Prior to working at Millikin, Dr. White served seven years as the 15th president of Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind. During his tenure at Wabash, Dr. White developed a student-focused strategic plan; guided the College through the financial turmoil of 2008-2009; completed a comprehensive academic program review and unqualified Self-Study Report that led to reaccreditation; secured a number of grants to establish new programs; achieved success in the Challenge of Excellence capital campaign that exceeded its $60 million goal; and completed a $6 million Athletics Field Campaign.

'€œAs members of the Board of Trustees, we have no greater responsibility than protecting the health and vitality of the institution in which we serve,'€ remarked Chairman of the Millikin University Board of Trustees Van A. Dukeman. '€œSelection of a president is one of the most important decisions we make as trustees. We are happy to have found in Dr. White an experienced leader to guide Millikin'€™s future,'€ added Dukeman. '€œWhile Dr. White initially joined Millikin in an interim role, he has never acted like an interim president and quickly proved himself an invaluable leader on our campus. We are confident that his expertise and experience in private higher education will serve him well as Millikin'€™s 15th president.'€

'€œI am honored to have been chosen as Millikin University'€™s 15th president,'€ said Millikin President Patrick E. White. '€œThe Millikin I have come to know in the last few months has affirmed my belief in James Millikin'€™s promise of education and in the University'€™s signature commitment to performance learning and to our students'€™ success. I am grateful for the opportunity to help advance the university in the years to come.'€

Dr. White served as Vice President and Dean of Faculty at Saint Mary'€™s College, Notre Dame, Ind., from 2002-2006. Previously, he was the Associate Dean of Faculty from 1988 to 2002, and served the all-women'€™s college as Professor of English. He spearheaded a number of academic initiatives at Saint Mary'€™s, including establishing the Center for Academic Innovation and the creation of grants that supported collaborative research between faculty and students and among the faculty members themselves. Dr. White was also one of the designers of Saint Mary'€™s Center for Women'€™s InterCultural Leadership, a Lilly Endowment-funded initiative.

Earlier in his career, Dr. White was the chair of the Department of Language and Literature at Pfieffer College in Misenheimer, N.C., from 1985-1988, and taught at Westmar College in Le Mars, Iowa, from 1976 '€“ 1985."  A National Merit Scholar, Dr. White earned an A.B. in English from the University of Chicago in 1971, a M.A. in English from the University of Iowa in 1975, and a doctorate of English and American Literature from the University of Iowa in 1980.

Dr. White and his wife, Chris, have twin daughters, Katie and Molly, and a son, Paddy."  Paddy and his wife Eileen are the parents of grandchildren Norah and Oliver.

White added, '€œMy wife Chris and I are very pleased to make the Millikin community our home. We have been delighted with the warm reception we have received in Decatur and look forward to continuing the great tradition of Millikin excellence with pride and enthusiasm.'€

Millikin University is a private, comprehensive university with a diverse student population of approximately 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students. A Millikin education features '€œperformance learning,'€ a unique learning approach offering students the chance to build the confidence to succeed before and after graduation. Students choose from more than 50 majors from the College of Fine Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Professional Studies and Tabor School of Business. Millikin is located a 75-acre residential campus in Decatur, Illinois. Last year, 97% of Millikin graduates gained employment or admission into professional/graduate school within six months of graduation. More information is available at www.millikin.edu.