Presbyterian College President Dr. Matthew vandenBerg Stepping Down Following Spring Semester


Mitchell Mercer

Presbyterian College President Matt vandenBerg.

Mitchell Mercer, Editor-in-Chief

On only the third day of the spring semester, Presbyterian College students, faculty, and staff were treated to surprising news from the campus community.

School president Dr. Matthew vandenBerg is resigning from his role as school president after the conclusion of the spring 2023 semester, effective June 30th. PC’s 19th president will become the new president of Ohio Wesleyan University, a private liberal arts college located outside the Columbus, Ohio area.

vandenBerg cited family reasons and being back in the Midwest as factors for taking the role with Ohio Wesleyan.

This decision is in no way a reflection of my views of Presbyterian College or its students, faculty, staff, alumni, or board.  On the contrary, Melissa, Jackson, Sylvia, and I have developed a tremendous love, respect, and appreciation for Presbyterian College and its phenomenal people.  I could not have asked for a better fit for my career or my personal passions,” vandenBerg said in an email Wednesday morning. “The City of Clinton, South Carolina, the United States, and the world are fundamentally better because of PC. I have derived immense satisfaction from the numerous game-changing and momentum-building accomplishments that we have achieved together over the last two years.”

Originally serving as the vice president for advancement and external relations at Alma College in Alma, Michigan, vandenBerg was selected to serve as PC’s 19th school president in October 2020 by the college’s Board of Trustees. He officially became president in February 2021 and was inaugurated in October the same year, becoming one of the youngest college presidents in the country.

As PC’s president, vandenBerg was part of a number of projects and initiatives to improve the student experience at Presbyterian College.

He oversaw the addition of PC’s future eSports program, the revision of 121 Musgrove in downtown Clinton, the purchase of the Capitol Theatre in Laurens, a partnership with Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and events for students to enjoy on campus such as “Chat with Matt” meetings and the Championship Spirit Gala. 

Furthermore, vandenBerg also played a role in PC’s new marketing strategy as America’s Innovative Service College, with the goal of making Presbyterian College the number one service college in America.

“On behalf of the trustees, I am grateful for his energy, enthusiasm, and many contributions to moving PC forward. We wish Matt, Melissa, and their family much happiness and success as they move to this new phase of their lives,” Ruth Roper, chair of the PC Board of Trustees, said in a statement.

Roper and the Board of Trustees will play a massive role in finding PC’s 20th school president, with school trustee Brad Bryant (‘75) leading the national search. The search committee is expected to be comprised of board members, faculty, staff, and members of PC’s alumni.

CarterBaldwin Executive Search is also expected to play a role in the search, with additional details coming in the near future.

While vandenBerg will leave PC in the coming months, he concluded in his email that he will help support the school’s mission on completing future projects and providing a successful transition to his successor.

“Our work together as a community is far from finished. I am fiercely committed to PC’s success and will focus on completing significant projects and helping to provide for a smooth transition to the college’s 20th president,” vandenBerg said.