PC Names New President

Matt vanderBerg

Presbyterian College has announced selection of its 19th President, with the selection of Dr. Matthew vandenBerg, who is vice president for advancement and external relations at Alma College of Alma, Michigan. There, he has led a team responsible for the five most productive fundraising years in the school’s history, averaging $17 million a year since his arrival in 2015. He’s also worked closely with the community in a variety of ways, including economic development.

vandenBerg was selected by PC’s Board of Trustees on Oct. 28th after considering some 100 candidates. He will succeed Bob Staton on February 1st. Last May, Staton announced that he will retire on Dec. 31st after five years as president of the College.

“Dr. vandenBerg embraces the Christian faith and is a lifelong member of the PC (USA),” said E. G. Lassiter ’69, chair of the PC Board of Trustees., “He sought a presidency at a church-related liberal arts college, and specifically PC, as our mission of developing well-rounded students is a driving force for him.”

Dr. Holbrook Raynal, PC class of ’70, said “My primary concern as chair of the search committee was to find the person who has working knowledge and sufficient grasp of all of the challenges facing higher education and has the ability to communicate and lead strategies that will address those that are most urgent for Presbyterian College.”

Dr. Raynal added, “That person would need to be able to develop and nurture effective relationships with all of the constituencies that make up the PC family. High on the list of priorities were student enrollment, fundraising, shared governance within the institution, and emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Drawing on his experience and inspiring leadership style, Dr. vandenBerg demonstrates the ability and desire to quickly address those concerns.”

Dr. vandenBerg said, “I was impressed by the thoughtfulness, diligence, and care taken by PC at each stage in the search process and overwhelmed by the extraordinary lengths taken by so many to make my family and me feel welcome.

PC is a venerable institution with rich traditions, a long track record of preparing students for meaningful and successful lives, and a remarkably passionate and loyal alumni base. I will bring sensitivity and humility to the role and a voracious appetite for learning about all the things that make PC so special.”

The new PC president added, “My top priorities from the outset will be to build strong relationships, to listen and learn with care, and to earn trust, one person at a time.”

vandenBerg and his wife, Melissa, recently celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary and have two children, Jackson (8) and Sylvia (4), as well as a golden retriever named Honey. Both are lifelong Presbyterians in PCUSA. Matt vandenBerg said, “Melissa and I almost instantly felt at home upon arriving on campus. We are eager to begin this exciting new calling and to embrace the PC community.”