Board of Trustees Ends Search for New President

The Bethel College Board of Trustees announces the appointment of Steven R. Cramer, Ph.D. as the sixth president of Bethel College. Dr. Cramer, Bethel's Vice President for Institutional Advancement, will take office on June 1, 2004. A formal inauguration ceremony will take place in fall 2004.

The search for a new president began in early 2003, following the announcement of the intended retirement of current president Dr. Norman V. Bridges. In May 2003 a full search committee, comprised of representatives from the board of trustees, alumni, student body, faculty, staff and community, was formed. Chaired by Bethel Trustee LeRoy Troyer, CEO of the Troyer Group, Inc., the committee was assisted by a consultant from the executive search firm, People Management, headquartered in Nashville, TN.

From about 55 individuals, the search eventually was narrowed to three candidates, each of whom spent time on the Bethel campus. The campus community then met with the candidates in a series of open forums, during which feedback was gathered and considered by members of the search committee. Following extensive discussion with students, faculty and trustees, the committee unanimously recommended Dr. Cramer as the next president of Bethel College.

Cramer, a 1975 Bethel College graduate, holds a Master of Science in Administration from the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration from Indiana State University.

He returned to Bethel in 1987 as Vice President for Institutional Advancement. During that time Cramer has served on Dr. Bridges' administrative team and assisted him in the planning and development that has helped fuel the college's growth. In 2000 he chaired the process leading to Bethel's current 10-year strategic plan.

Specifically, Cramer designed and implemented four fund raising campaigns, totaling $21.5 million, and is currently leading the college's "Design for Distinction" campaign toward its $34 million goal with current pledges totaling just over $33 million.

Prior to coming to Bethel College, Cramer served as Executive Director of St. Joseph's Care Foundation in South Bend, in addition to holding numerous volunteer and professional positions with area schools, churches and community organizations.

A Plymouth, IN native and graduate of LaVille High School, Steve and his wife, Terri, reside in Osceola, IN and are the parents of three grown children Jodi, Jeff and James. States Bethel College President Norman Bridges, "We are very pleased to have Steve step into this position. He has my confidence for the future success of Bethel College."

"Terri and I are honored to be chosen to lead our alma mater into the future," comments Cramer. "We look forward to the opportunity to continue to build upon the solid foundation and growing reputation the college has acquired through the leadership of  Norman and Janice Bridges."

By their unanimous decision, the Bethel College Board of Trustees has expressed their confidence that Dr. Cramer brings to the position an educational and professional background that will enable him to guide and direct the college as a strong, vibrant leader. The college anticipates a smooth transition in leadership over the coming months.

A reception to publicly honor Dr. Cramer will be held on Wednesday, January 28, 2004  at 10:30 A.M. in the Weaver Rotunda of the Everest-Rohrer Chapel/Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus.