Loren J. Anderson, Ph.D.
Pacific Lutheran University
President of Pacific Lutheran University since 1992, Loren J. Anderson encourages a shared, campus-wide vision for the university based on the theme, "Educating for Lives of Service." This vision has been realized through the cooperative development and implementation of two long-range plans, PLU 2000 and, most recently, PLU 2010: The Next Level of Distinction, which guides the university in its strategic initiatives.
Anderson played a key leadership role in PLU's classification as a New American College, a unique association of institutions of higher education that are committed to the integration of the study of the liberal arts and the study of professional disciplines. PLU is one of only 23 schools across the nation to hold the distinction of being a New American College.
Since coming to PLU, Anderson has worked to ensure that the campus community remains focused on student achievement, and that PLU lives up to its mission "to empower students for lives of thoughtful inquiry, leadership, service and care-for other people, for their communities and for the earth."
Under Anderson's leadership, student enrollment and the quality of new students has steadily increased. His philanthropic expertise has been a significant factor in the success of two major fund-raising campaigns. First was the university's successful Make a Lasting Difference campaign, which concluded in 1997 and raised more than $72 million (surpassing its goal by $20 million). Anderson recently led the most ambitious and aggressive fund-raising effort in PLU's history. The Campaign for Pacific Lutheran University: The Next Bold Step was launched publicly in May 2000 and exceeded its $100 million goal by more than $28 million.
Most of Anderson's career has been dedicated to Lutheran higher education. At Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., he served as assistant professor of speech communication and director of institutional research starting in 1972. After serving as assistant to the president from 1975 to 1976, he became vice president for planning and development. At 31, he was the youngest vice president in Concordia's history.
In 1984, he became executive director of the division for college and university services of the American Lutheran Church. He returned to Concordia in 1988 as executive vice president with responsibilities for fund development, communication, academic planning and general administration.
Anderson has spearheaded efforts to forge strong alliances with Norway. He is a leader in the PLU-Norway-Namibia program, supporting efforts of peace studies. Scores of PLU faculty and students have traveled to Namibia to study and learn, and PLU students study at Hedmark University College in Norway and the University of Namibia.
Anderson has served in leadership positions on the boards of many civic organizations, including the American Leadership Forum in Tacoma. The forum is a part of a national program established to educate community leaders from various business, education, nonprofit, religious, labor and government sectors-as well as across boundaries of ethnicity, gender and geography-to work collaboratively on important public issues for the well-being of the community. He is on the board of Independent Colleges of Washington and is a past chair of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
Anderson earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Concordia College, a master's degree in rhetoric and public address from Michigan State University, and a doctorate in communication theory and research from the University of Michigan. In 1981, he received a diploma from Harvard University's Institute for Educational Management, and he completed Harvard's 1992 Seminar for College and University Presidents.
Anderson was born and raised in Rugby, N.D. His wife, MaryAnn, is PLU's external relations coordinator. They are parents of a daughter, Maren, who attends PLU. The Andersons live in Tacoma.