K-State's Second Longest President is Retiring

By: Stephanie Ramos Email
By: Stephanie Ramos Email

Jon Wefald (b. November 24, 1937, in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an American educator and the twelfth President of Kansas State University, holding that position since 1986.

Wefald was born in Minneapolis and moved, at age six, with his family to Minot, North Dakota. After high school, he attended Pacific Lutheran University where he earned a B.A. in history in 1959. Wefald then earned his M.A. in history and political science from Washington State University in 1961, and Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan in 1965.

In 1965, Wefald returned to Minnesota, taking his first faculty position at Gustavus Adolphus College, where he taught history for five years. From 1971 to 1977, he served as Minnesota's Commissioner of Agriculture, and guest lectured. In 1977, he became President of Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota. In 1982, he became a Chancellor of the six state university system of Minnesota.[1]

In July 1986, Wefald began his service as president of Kansas State University. Wefald has now held the second-longest term of any Kansas State President, trailing only the 25-year tenure of James McCain. During his tenure at K-State, over 2,000,000 square feet of new buildings have been built, private giving increased from $6 million a year to nearly $100 million a year, research funding increased from $18 million to $110 million a year, enrollment increased from 17,000 to 23,000, and, finally, K-State students have won 124 Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater, and Udall Scholarships from 1986 to 2008--more than any university in America.

Wefald announced on May 12, 2008 that he would retire at the end of the 2008-2009 academic year.

Biography courtesy: Wikipedia


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