Daily Journal staff report
BOURBONNAIS — Olivet Nazarene University has hired a new president to take the place of John Bowling, who is set to retire in May after 30 years in the office, the university announced Thursday.
Gregg Chenoweth, current president of Bethel University in Indiana, was elected by ONU’s Board of Trustees to be the university’s 13th president starting June 1, according to an ONU press release.
Bowling announced his decision to retire in August 2019. He has been in the office since August 1991 and is the longest-serving president in the university’s history.
Chenoweth, a 1990 graduate of ONU and a former vice president for academic affairs for the university, was selected after a 15-month national search process, according to the release.
“I am honored by the confidence of the board and eager to add my ambitions to a faculty and staff already doing something special,” Chenoweth said in the release. “If I could help reproduce for students even a fraction of what Olivet did for me, there will be a lot to celebrate.”
The board used the services of MK Stevenson Consulting and surveyed members of the ONU community during the search process, according to the release.
“I am struck by the utter completeness of Dr. Chenoweth’s qualifications theologically, professionally, academically and personally,” Board Chairman Scott Sherwood said in the release.
Chenoweth has been president of Bethel University, a private Christian liberal arts university, since 2013.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from ONU in 1990, a master’s degree in organizational communication from Northern Illinois University in 1992 and a doctorate in organizational communication from Wayne State University in 2003.
Bowling said he was “delighted” when he learned Chenoweth was selected as the next ONU president.
“Dr. Chenoweth is a gifted, experienced and dedicated leader who has years of administrative experience,” Bowling said in the release. “I am confident that he is the right person at the right time for Olivet.”