SPRINGFIELD , Ohio – The Opening Convocation of Wittenberg University’s 161st academic year will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31, in Weaver Chapel featuring a keynote address by Mark H. Erickson, Wittenberg’s 13th president. The convocation, which is free and open to the public, serves as the first event of the 2005-2006 Wittenberg Series, which annually brings distinguished lecturers and performing artists of national and international prominence to the campus and local community.
Following a formal academic processional by the faculty, Erickson will discuss “Stop the Planet, I Want to Get Off: The Challenges of Educating Global Citizens in an Increasingly Chaotic World” in an address to students, faculty and staff. As part of the traditional kickoff to the academic year, Carolyn Perkins, associate vice president of student development and dean of students, will also introduce student leaders, and Kenneth Bladh, provost of the university, will recognize newly tenured faculty members and those recently promoted.
Formerly the vice president for administrative and government affairs at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., Erickson brings significant experience in strategic planning, enrollment management, global education, diversity, student development and community engagement.
As a senior adviser to Lehigh’s president from 1999-2005, Erickson provided leadership and vision for the university’s government and community affairs operations. He also led the university’s strategic planning process and traveled extensively internationally in support of Lehigh’s mission. In addition, Erickson spearheaded diversity initiatives to foster an inclusive campus environment during his 22-year career at Lehigh, which included nearly a decade as its dean of students.
One of 34 nationally selected American Council on Education Fellows in 1997, Erickson spent his fellowship year working closely with then president William Adams of Bucknell University, studying the college presidency and issues such of planning, government affairs and faculty governance.
A member of multiple professional associations and a presenter at national and international conferences on such topics as international education, global citizenship, student attitudes, the impact of residential colleges and the role of universities as engines for economic development, Erickson has taught classes in education, policy and politics, and communications, among others. He will hold faculty rank in the department of education at Wittenberg.
Erickson has also served on numerous community and civic boards including the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Bethlehem Economic Development Corporation, the Manufacturer’s Resource Center and the Children’s Home of Easton.
Erickson earned his A.B. in American history from Princeton University, his Ed.M. from Harvard University and his Ed.D. in educational leadership from Lehigh University where he received the Matthew W. Gaffney Award for academic excellence. He also completed additional study in world religions and pastoral care at Harvard Divinity School.
To learn more about the Wittenberg Series, contact Gwendolyn Scheffel, Series coordinator, at (937) 327-7918 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
- Marj Newman
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