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 and held an endowed faculty chair as distinguished professor of computational science at Haverford College. He also served as provost, dean of faculty, and interim president at Colgate University.
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. A number of U.S. and international institutions have also hosted Roelofs as a visiting scientist or fellow, including Sandia National Laboratory, the Fritz-Haber Institut in Berlin, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Munich), Technische Universität Clausthal, and Universität Ulm. 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 mission (the eight “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.
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).