Calvin University names 1997 graduate as institution’s next president
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Calvin University has named Wiebe Boer as the institution’s next president, the university announced Monday, March 28.
Boer, an alumnus of the university, will step into the role of university president this summer and be inaugurated in the fall, according to university officials.
Boer – who will become the 11th president of Calvin University – has worked in the private and social sectors of four countries on two continents over the past two decades. He is currently the CEO of Shell-All On, a renewable energy investment company, in Lagos, Nigeria.
Boer was born and raised in Jos, Nigeria to Reformed Christian missionary parents. He graduated as a second generation Calvin student in 1997. He married Joanna Bachew, of Trinidad and Tobago, a Calvin graduate in 2003.
“In the different countries and contexts in which I have served, my goal has always been to create impact, to improve people’s lives,” Boer said. “So to be called upon to help lead Calvin who is training graduates to be agents of renewal is humbling.”
Boer appreciates his family’s historic connection to Calvin. He also values the global perspective he gained after spending much of his childhood and adult life living and working abroad.
“I am thrilled to innovate and collaborate with talented faculty and staff as we together pursue Calvin’s ambitious vision and articulate that vision in a way that gains momentum both locally and globally,” said he added.
The Board of Directors launched its search for the next Calvin President in the summer of 2021 by appointing a search committee. Boer stood out among a diverse and competitive pool of applicants, according to university officials.
“Wiebe personally embodies Calvin’s mission with his unique life story,” said Mary Tuuk Kuras, Vice Chairman of the Board and Chair of the Search Committee. “His academic grounding, strong sense of social justice and vast experience in the private and social sectors position him well to lead the next chapter of Calvin with creativity, drive and humility.”
“His understanding of Calvin’s past propels his innovative optimism for Calvin’s bright future, and he is ready to roll up his sleeves and work collaboratively with all stakeholders in our Calvin community on this journey,” he said. she adds.
Boer received a doctorate and two master’s degrees from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree from Calvin, all in history. He spent a year studying political science at the University of Jos and completed his primary and secondary education at Hillcrest School, also in Jos, Nigeria.
His wife Joanna holds a Masters in Human Resource Management from the University of London and is currently CEO of Empire Jane, a Nigerian furniture company. They have four sons.
“As an accomplished scholar, an entrepreneur committed to social good, and a person of deep Christian belief and character, I believe Wiebe offers the ideal attributes needed by Calvin to achieve his ambitious global vision in this decade. I look forward to working with him as we move into the next leadership season,” said Michael Le Roy, who in June 2021 announced that the 2021-22 academic year would be his final year as president of Calvin. . He noted an incentive to return to the Northwestern United States to be closer to his adult children and aging parents.
After 10 years as president, Le Roy announced his resignation in a letter to the Calvin community in June. Le Roy moved from Spokane, Washington to Grand Rapids in 2012, when he became Calvin’s ninth president.
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