Presidential Biography: Eric R. Jensen

Jensen is a native of Homewood, IL; he earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan and a bachelor of business administration in economics from the University of Miami. He most recently served as provost of Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN.
Earlier in his career, Jensen was a faculty member at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. Jensen also served as a Visiting Scholar in Economics at the University of Indonesia and worked for four years with the College Board to develop and implement its Financial Aid Strategy Tool (FAST), which enabled participating institutions to individually tailor financial aid offers to admitted students.


Presidential Biography: Richard F. Wilson

Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree in education and an honorary doctorate from Alderson-Broaddus University in West Virginia. He earned master and doctoral degrees in higher education from the University of Michigan.
Wilson served as the president of IWU from 2004-2015. During his tenure, he oversaw two strategic planning efforts, the first completed in 2006 and the second completed in 2014. He is a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi national honor societies.

Presidential Biography: Minor Myers, jr.

Myers was born in Copley, Ohio and graduated from Carleton College in 1968. He earned masters and doctorate degrees in political philosophy, philosophy, and politics from Princeton University. The author of eight books and a musical play, Myers was an avid scholar, encouraging students to pursue their passions at Illinois Wesleyan and beyond.
Before arriving at IWU, Myers was Provost, Dean of Faculty, and Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges for five years.

Presidential Biography: Wayne Anderson

Anderson was a graduate of the University of Minnesota and received a Master’s from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School before receiving a Ph.D. from Georgetown University. He had been on the staff of the Association of American Colleges and Assistant to the President of John Hopkins for nine years. He was then President and Professor of Political Science at Maryville College. He served as IWU’s 16th President, with a term running from 1986-1988.

Wayne Anderson

Presidential Biography: Robert S. Eckley

Eckley grew up in Peoria, IL, graduated from Bradley University in 1942 with a B.A. in economics and completed an M.B.A. at the University of Minnesota, before serving for three years in the Coast Guard on the U.S.S. Davenport.
After WWII, he attended Harvard and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics in 1948 and 1949, respectively. Following two years as an Assistant Professor at Kansas, Eckley served an appointment as an industrial economist at the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. From there, he became the manager of the Business-Economics Department of Caterpillar.
Robert S. Eckley was elected the 15th IWU President in 1968 and served until 1986.

Eckley, Robert

Presidential Biography: Lloyd M. Bertholf

Bertholf was a native of rural Kansas, attended Friends University, and graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. He served in the coast artillery in World War I (stationed at Fort Monroe, Virginia). Bertholf studied at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1921, for his graduate work, and began his career teaching biology at North Carolina College for Women. For 15 years, he supplemented his teaching income with summer work performing research for the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine. He also taught at Western Maryland College for 25 years, where he was also Dean of Freshman and Dean of Faculty. In 1930, Bertholf received a postdoctoral fellowship to study in Munich on a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, and in 1948 moved to the West Coast to teach at the College of the Pacific, as a Professor of Biology and Academic Vice-President. In 1958, Lloyd M. Bertholf became the 14th President if IWU and he served until 1968.

Bertholf, Lloyd

Presidential Biography: Merrill J. Holmes

Holmes was the 13th IWU President, 1947 – 1958. Holmes, like many of his predecessors, was a Methodist minister, and also had been an Army Chaplain in the 165th Infantry, which became the famous 69th Infantry in World War I. He taught for three years at Garrett Biblical Institute and later became the Professor of Religion and Philosophy and Dean at Dakota Wesleyan University. For two years, he was the Secretary of Institutes in the Epworth League Department of the Methodist Board of Education, and before coming to IWU, he was the Secretary of the Department of Educational Institutions for African Americans for 14 years.

Holmes, Merrill J.

Presidential Biography: William E. Shaw

Shaw was born in Minnesota in 1869. He graduated from Moores Hill College in Indiana in 1889. He taught in Kentucky for four years and then entered Garrett Biblical Institute where he was given the S.T.B. degree in 1896. Shaw was the corresponding secretary of the Methodist Board of Foreign Missions in New York, as well as a Trustee of IWU for more than three decades, and served on the Board of Trustees before he was made the 12th President of IWU in 1939. His term as President of the University lasted until 1947.

Shaw, William

Presidential Biography: Wiley G. Brooks

Brooks was from Burlington, Iowa, and he was the first president of Wesleyan who was not an ordained minister of the Methodist church. Brooks received his A.B. from York College, his M.A. from Columbia University, and his Ph.D. from the State University of Iowa. He was also the superintendent of the Burlington Junior College, president of the Iowa Teachers association. He was IWU’s 11th president and served from 1937-1939.

Brooks, Wiley

Presidential Biography: Harry W. McPherson

McPherson grew up on an Illinois Farm, attended school and later taught in Cumberland County.  He entered the Academy at IWU in 1901 and during his four years in the College of Liberal Arts, he was active in a wide variety of student activities: a member of the Track Team, the Male Quartet, the Glee Club, Oratorical Society, the Oxford Club, Y.M.C.A. Cabinet, Student Council, and Editor-in-Chief of both the Argus and Wesleyana.  He graduated in 1906.

McPherson was a student pastor during his last three years at IWU, and after graduation earned his S.T.B. in the school of theology at Boston University.  He held several pastorships across the state of Illinois, and was Superintendent of the Springfield School District for three years.  He was a member of the Joint Board of Trustees and Visitors for 16 years and at the end of that term of service, IWU conferred upon him a D.D. He was then inaugurated the tenth IWU President in 1932 and served until 1937. He is credited with establishing a unique tuition exchange program that helped keep students enrolled during the Great Depression.McPherson, Harry