Johnson Accepts Call to be President of Wisconsin Lutheran College

Date Posted: July 16, 2008

MILWAUKEE – Daniel W. Johnson has accepted the call to be the next president of Wisconsin Lutheran College. The selection of Johnson, an administrator of Arizona Lutheran Academy (ALA) in Phoenix, Arizona, comes after a national search by the college’s Board of Regents. Johnson is the third full-time president of WLC in its 35-year history, succeeding Dr. Timothy Kriewall who retired June 30, 2008.

"I am humbled and excited to join Wisconsin Lutheran College in its mission to prepare students for lives of servant leadership," said Johnson. "It is a God-given privilege to ready students with not only academic excellence, but with the values, know how and desire to serve and be difference makers in their workplaces, communities and the world."

"First and foremost, Dan is a dedicated man of God," said Todd Witte, chairman of the college's Board of Regents. "Throughout his varied leadership roles he has exemplified the type of unique servant leadership that is underlined by the WLC mission."

Johnson has served in multiple levels of education over the past 20 years. He has dedicated his career to improving education across various communities. His leadership of ALA since 1999 is marked by innovative successes built on community focus, outreach and meeting needs through creative private and public partnerships. Through such initiatives, ALA achieved record enrollment, financial support and balanced budgets over his nine years at the helm.

Dr. Rolf Wegenke, president of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU), hailed the appointment of Johnson as the new president of Wisconsin Lutheran College. 

"His experience at Arizona Lutheran Academy shows he can be entrepreneurial — a 'must' for a private college president — and models the way in which education is increasingly integrated at all levels — elementary, secondary and postsecondary.  He will be a real asset to Wisconsin Lutheran, to WAICU, and to all of education," Wegenke said.

Johnson will defend his doctoral dissertation "Qualities of Christian Schools that Impact Enrollment" in fall 2008, earning his Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He is current president of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) Association of Lutheran High Schools and holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from National-Louis University, Chicago, Illinois, and a bachelor's degree from Dr. Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota.

Johnson grew up in Illinois and Arizona, and is a lifelong active member of the WELS, the church body with which the college is affiliated. He and his wife, Jana, have three children and will relocate to the Milwaukee area in the fall of 2008.

Wisconsin Lutheran College is a Christian, independent liberal arts college offering 24 majors, an average class size of 14 and a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. The campus is located in a quiet, residential neighborhood on the west side of Milwaukee.