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Weekly Meeting – Dr. Lyle Roelofs, Berea College President

Posted on Sep 7, 2017


LEXINGTON, KY – The Rotary Club of Lexington held its weekly meeting Thursday, September 7th,  at Fasig-Tipton, 2400 Newtown Pike. The program’s guest speaker was Berea College President, Dr. Lyle Roelofs.

Lyle Roelofs began his tenure as Berea College’s ninth president on July 1, 2012.  He is a graduate of Calvin College with a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in physics and mathematics.  He earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, both in physics, at the University of Maryland and has more than 35 years of experience in teaching and research at the University of Maryland, Calvin College, Brown University, Haverford College, and Colgate University.  Prior to being appointed President of Berea College, he served as associate provost at Haverford College, and as provost, dean of faculty, and interim president at Colgate University.  A number of U.S. and international institutions, including Sandia National Laboratory, the Fritz-Haber Institut in Berlin, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Munich), Technische Universität Clausthal, and Universität Ulm, have hosted Roelofs as a visiting scientist or fellow.

Dr. Roelofs’ academic and scholarly research has resulted in substantial grants from such organizations as the Research Corporation and the National Science Foundation.  Other honors include the Humboldt Research Fellowship and the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Teaching Fellowship.  He held an endowed faculty chair at Haverford College as distinguished professor of computational science.  Dr. Roelofs has authored or co-authored numerous publications in refereed professional journals, as well as invited papers and presentations at national and international seminars and colloquia.

Dr. Roelofs’ leadership initiatives at Berea College include strategic planning and institutional advancement through exploration of the College’s Great Commitments.  He has also worked to enhance the physical resources of the College, overseeing the renovation of four residence halls and the construction of new facilities to house the natural sciences and health programs.  All new construction and renovation is pursued with a strong commitment to sustainability and all facilities have obtained LEED certification.  He has also added new properties to the Berea College Forest, upgraded the facilities for visitors and supported the adoption of sustainable forest management practices.

Dr. Roelofs serves on the boards of a number of national and regional higher education organizations, including NAICU (the National Association of Independent College and Universities), the Annapolis Group and the Appalachian Colleges Association.

Beyond Dr. Roelofs’ professional interests, he enjoys reading, cooking, bird watching, gardening, knitting, camping, hiking, and running (including the occasional distance race).  Dr. Roelofs and his wife, Laurie, lead a Run/Walk Club for students, staff, and faculty twice weekly.  They have two sons (both married) and five grandchildren (all cute and well behaved).

For additional information, or to attend this meeting, please contact Peggy Trafton at 

401 West Main Street • Suite 305 • Lexington, KY 40507 • (859) 389-8100

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