Albion College Announces Dr. Wayne P. Webster as its 18th President

Consensus Builder, Relational and Transparent Leader with Significant Experience in Liberal Arts, Experiential Education, Webster Steps into New Role July 1

April 4, 2023

After an extensive national search, the Albion College Board of Trustees is proud to welcome Dr. Wayne P. Webster as its 18th president.

Currently serving as the interim president of The College of Wooster in Ohio, Webster was the unanimous choice of the 15-member search committee, which was comprised of faculty, staff, alumni, students and community leaders. The Board of Trustees unanimously voted to elect him president. Webster will begin his new duties on July 1 as head of Albion College, which is nationally recognized for its academic excellence in the liberal arts tradition and its focus on experiential learning.

Webster brings 23 years of experience to his new role, including an extensive background in development, alumni relations, student engagement and shared governance. During his career, Webster has led initiatives to raise more than $250 million to fund endowments, support capital campaigns, enhance infrastructure and engage with constituents.

Recognized by his peers as a consensus builder and thoughtful listener, Webster has worked in leadership roles at nationally ranked private colleges with enrollments between 1,000 and 2,000 students in Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Additionally, he launched the first-ever comprehensive campaign at the 12,000-student campus of the University of Northern Colorado, enabling him to return to his home state.

“We are delighted to welcome Wayne as the 18th president of Albion College,” said Board Chair Joanne “Joey” Miller, ’75. “He has demonstrated he can look across the college as an organic whole and develop the strategy needed to help us meet our educational goals. He can also execute those plans, delivering measurable results that hold him and his team accountable.

“Wayne listens with respect and builds with consensus, which is a powerful combination. He has demonstrated a passion for liberal arts in small college settings like ours. He understands and embraces the Midwest. He truly brings the perfect blend of attributes we need right now.

“I want to thank Joe Calvaruso, ’78, a College trustee and fifth-generation Albion native who served so selflessly as interim president along with his wife, Donna, during the search. We look forward to a seamless transition as Wayne and his family relocate to Albion this summer.”

Trustee and Search Chair Brian McPheely, ’78, noted: “Wayne joins our campus at a time when higher education is facing significant headwinds – which he sees as opportunities rather than difficulties. He’s prepared to hit the ground running from day one, with a tremendous blend of creativity and calm steadiness.

“Wayne strives to build relationships with all stakeholders, from students, faculty and staff to athletics, admissions and the cabinet. He sees the critical importance of making sure the city of Albion and the College have a great working relationship.”

Highlights of Webster’s career include:

  • The College of Wooster as interim president: Leading a campus of 1,950 students and 700-plus faculty and staff on key initiatives, including launching a three-year budget realignment process, rebuilding community and shared governance, reviewing academic program opportunities to identify new revenue sources, realigning existing resources and strengthening experiential learning. Implementing successful hiring practices for diverse staff and assisting boards of trustees and alumni boards in helping to identify and recruit candidates whose lived experiences would enrich conversations in the board room.
  • The College of Wooster as vice president of advancement: Launching public phase of and completing a $190.3 million capital campaign, the largest in the history of the college, as well as setting records for fundraising, expanding support for the endowment and overseeing all aspects of advancement, including major and planned gifts, sponsored research and foundation relations, alumni engagement, etc. Identifying needs and soliciting gifts to support DEI efforts, including the launch of a Black Student Equity Fund and opportunities to provide more equitable access to experiential learning resources and opportunities.
  • Ripon College in Wisconsin as vice president of advancement: Serving as chief staff liaison with the board and assisting in introducing new core curriculum and metrics for benchmarking as chair of the strategic planning process. Leading a comprehensive campaign for the college of 1,000 students that topped its goal twice, reaching $67.3 million. Revamping the college website and magazine and enhancing support for marketing communications that led to significant national media coverage.

“I am honored to be asked to serve as the 18th president of Albion College,” Webster said. “I have long held Albion in tremendous esteem for the many innovative ways it connects learning in the classroom with experiences in the local community, through on-campus centers and institutes, and beyond. My respect has only grown over the last six years through interactions with Albion as part of the Great Lakes Colleges Association. I am eager to join this exceptional community and contribute to Albion’s great tradition of bringing the mission to life through transformational learning experiences that prepare students for lives of personal and professional engagement.

“As Albion College moves closer to celebrating our 200th anniversary, we are at a pivotal time in our history. I look forward to working with all faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and the community, to ensure the College’s success for the next 200 years.”

A strong believer in the importance of building relationships with the community, Webster has been active in the city of Wooster as a member of the Wayne County Economic Development Council and Wooster Rotary Club and on the board of the Wooster Chamber of Commerce. He has also been active in the Kiwanis, Circle K, school boards and mentoring programs in other postings.

A native of Rocky Ford, Colorado, Webster earned a Doctor of Education from The George Washington University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in public administration and political science, as well as a Master of Arts degree in management from Doane University. He co-authored chapters that were published in Facilitating Higher Education Growth through Fundraising and Philanthropy (2016) and Disability and Equity in Higher Education Accessibility (2017).

He is married to Sally Webster, and they have two children, Stella (10) and Reid (forever 6), whom they lost in fall of 2020 due to complications from leukemia. They have one cat, Asher, and two dogs, Baxter and Brinkley.

To view video messages and letters from Webster, Miller and McPheely, visit our website.