August 17, 2017
On Campus

First Things First

Wittenberg’s 15th President Michael Frandsen to Present Keynote Address at Opening Convocation

The 2017-2018 Wittenberg Series will begin with the annual Opening Convocation, the traditional kick-off of the new academic year, at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22, in historic Weaver Chapel. Wittenberg University’s new president, Dr. Michael L. Frandsen, will present the keynote address titled “First Things First.”

Respected for his authenticity, integrity, vision, exemplary leadership skills and unique ability for finding intersections that create opportunity, Frandsen was named Wittenberg's 15th president on Feb. 10, 2017. He began his tenure on July 1, 2017.

The unanimous choice of the Wittenberg University Board of Directors, Frandsen brings a breadth and depth of experience to Wittenberg’s highest post having spent more than 10 years in corporate finance before pursuing his current 18-year career in higher education as both a professor and senior-level administrator, including serving as interim president of Albion College from 2013-2014 and most recently as vice president of finance and administration at Oberlin College.

A native of State College, Pa., Frandsen earned his B.A. in finance with distinction and his M.B.A. in quantitative business analysis with honors from The Pennsylvania State University, and his Ph.D. in management from the University of Texas at Austin.

He and wife, Sharon, are the proud parents of two grown daughters, Janie, a doctoral student at The Ohio State University, and Kate, who will graduate from Albion College later this fall.

Frandsen’s inauguration has been scheduled for Thursday, April 5, 2018, as a lead-in event for Wittenberg’s annual Celebration of Learning and Honors Convocation. Additional events highlighting Wittenberg’s tradition of excellence in the arts and athletics are also expected to round out the celebratory week next spring.

Now in its 35th year, the Wittenberg Series brings distinguished lecturers and performing artists of national and international prominence to the Wittenberg campus and Springfield community. To make special arrangements, request a Series poster, or become a friend of the Wittenberg Series, contact Lisa Watson at All Wittenberg Series events are free and open to the public.

Additional 2017-2018 Wittenberg Series Events:

  • Monday, Sept. 25: Concert with Seraph Brass, 7:30 p.m., Weaver Chapel.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 25: Kenneth H. Sauer Luther Symposium, 7:30 p.m., Bayley Auditorium featuring Dr. Joy Schroeder, Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Q & A, 3:30 p.m., Weaver Chapel.
  • Sunday, Oct. 29: Reformation Service, 7:30 p.m. in Weaver Chapel (music begins at 7 p.m.).
  • Monday, Oct. 30: Fred R. Leventhal Family Lecture, 7:30 p.m., Pam Evans Smith Arena featuring New York Times best-selling author, JD Vance.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 14: Allen J. Koppenhaver Literary Lecture, 7:30 p.m., Bayley Auditorium featuring Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail. Colloquium, 4:30 p.m., Bayley Auditorium.
  • Friday, Dec. 8: Lessons and Carols, 7:30 p.m. (Pre-service at 7 p.m.), Weaver Chapel.
  • Monday, Jan. 15, 2018: Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation, 11:15 a.m., Weaver Chapel, featuring Bernadette Evans '89, community activist and author. Q & A, 3:30 p.m., 105 Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning.
  • Monday & Tuesday, Feb. 5-6, 2018: Visual Arts Residency, 7:30 p.m., Springfield City School District's John Legend Theater at The Dome with documentary filmmaker, Elisabeth Haviland James. In celebration of Black History Month, there will be screenings of the films Althea (Monday) and The Loving Story (Tuesday).
  • Wednesday, March 21, 2018: IBM Endowed Lecture in the Sciences, 7:30 p.m., Bayley Auditorium featuring evolutionary biologist Dr. Sean B. Carroll. Colloquium, 4 p.m., Bayley Auditorium.
  • Friday, March 26, 2018: William A. Kinnison Endowed Lecture, 7:30 p.m., Weaver Chapel, featuring Annette Gordon-Reed, Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard University and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.

For more information on the Wittenberg Series, click here.

Recitation Hall
University Communications Staff
Staff Report

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

Back to top