The Blackburn College Board of Trustees has named Dr. Jennifer Braaten to serve as interim President of Blackburn College effective July 1. Braaten will serve in that role while Blackburn conducts a nationwide search for a new permanent president.
Blackburn President John Comerford has accepted a position as president of Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio and will begin his duties there in July.
“Dr. Braaten brings strong experience to Blackburn as a former college president,“ noted Hazel Loucks, chair of the Blackburn Board of Trustees. “She was most recently president of Ferrum College, in Ferrum, Virginia, for fifteen years. She has been successful in advancement work, completing two capital campaigns totalling $50 million, and led the college in several building projects. She was also involved in enhancing academic offerings and enrollment initiatives, as well as completing multiple economic development initiatives.”
“Dr. Braaten will complement the initiatives already underway at Blackburn and we are excited to welcome her. The board is confident she will provide the leadership needed at Blackburn while the search for a permanent replacement continues.”
A native of Minnesota, Braaten received her Ed.D, With High Distinction, from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL and amassed a successful career in education, first as a teacher and later in administration work. She was Academic Dean and Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida; and president of Midland Lutheran College, Fremont, Nebraska, before assuming her position at Ferrum College.
”It is an honor and privilege to serve Blackburn college as an interim president,” Braaten said. “The mission, the history, and the outstanding accomplishments of the faculty, staff, and students at Blackburn are extremely impressive. The Blackburn Promise provides accessibility, and the combination of a liberal arts curriculum, the student managed work program, and high impact learning creates the optimum student life experience.”
Founded in 1837, Blackburn College is a four-year, Presbyterian-related, co-educational liberal arts college located in Carlinville, Illinois. One of the eight work colleges in the U.S., Blackburn is the only one with a student-managed Work Program. Blackburn was also ranked by US News as one of the Top 50 Midwest Colleges and a Best Value in Regional Colleges in the Midwest; and The Washington Monthly ranked the college as the best baccalaureate college in Illinois and among the top 50 in the U.S.