From the President

Dear Alumni and Friends,

It’s a season of changes for Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Board of Governors. Larry Ruth (‘67) completed four years of service as chair and turned the gavel over to Richard Peterson (‘59) on June 1. Larry now leads the board affairs committee, succeeding Marc LeBaron, who finished 11 years on the board. All three of these gentlemen have my enduring thanks for their many contributions in governing NWU.

To mark this transition, our outgoing and incoming board chairs offer their thoughts on the present and future of Nebraska Wesleyan.

-Fred Ohles


Pride in our school is important. During my service as chair, I’ve felt the most pride at graduation shaking the hands of the students, some whom I’ve taught or who’ve overcome adversity to cross that threshold. I also feel a pride in our beautiful campus in spring. There’s nothing like Arbor Day near Old Main.

What will carry the day is a heart full of pride, combined with a serious dose of stewardship.

But sometimes pride can stand in the way of serious assessment. The challenges to Nebraska Wesleyan mostly relate to revenue. The simple truth is that we can most easily meet our goal of keeping NWU a first-rate liberal arts institution with more resources.

Fortunately, we face neither a crisis in finances nor a crisis in spirit. Nebraska Wesleyan educates its students remarkably well. As strong as Nebraska Wesleyan is, and as proud as I am of its students, we all play a part in deciding its future. What will carry the day is a heart full of pride, combined with a serious dose of stewardship.

The board will continue to make decisions, dictated by resources, which draw the face and footprint of Nebraska Wesleyan University. I’m privileged to have served as its chair.

-Larry Ruth (’67)


As I consider my new responsibilities as chair, I recall the ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Where will we find the resources to sustain Nebraska Wesleyan’s excellence? How will we cope with changing demographics and the temptation to value a degree over an education? How can we insure a quality liberal arts education remains accessible to all who seek it?

Together we can insure that our Nebraska Wesleyan will continue its tradition of excellence for generations.

Were it not for dedicated fellow governors, administrators, faculty and staff, the road ahead would be even more daunting. With their help and that of more than 17,000 alumni, the challenges seem less overwhelming.

My service on the board since 2007 has been one of my most enjoyable and rewarding experiences. It’s rekindled the pride that comes from being a part of a special endeavor. I hope each of you share in this sense of ownership, this realization that Nebraska Wesleyan is yours.

The achievements of today’s students are possible because of the support of thousands of loyal alumni who recognize that an inherent part of ownership is responsibility—the obligation to assume the role of the past alumni on whose shoulders we stood, years ago, when we walked the halls of Old Main.

I invite you to join me in a renewed commitment to our university. Each of us can reflect our sense of ownership in our own way. I urge you to help me carry forward the legacy to which we owe so much. Together we can insure that our Nebraska Wesleyan will continue its tradition of excellence for generations.

-Richard Peterson (’59)