President Gene Pfeifer smiles at a podiium during the 2019 commencement ceremony.

President and Leadership

Dr. Gene Pfeifer is the tenth president of Bethany Lutheran College, taking on the role in July 2015.

Pfeifer earned a bachelor’s degree from Martin Luther College (MLC), a master of science in education from The University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, and a doctor of philosophy in education, curriculum and instruction from the University of Minnesota.

Pfeifer is married to Carrie Pfeifer, who holds a doctor of education with special education focus from Nova Southeastern University. She is also a faculty member at Bethany serving as a full-time associate professor in the Education Department, and the Learning Disabilities Coordinator.

Prior to assuming the presidency at Bethany, Pfeifer was President of St. Croix Lutheran Grades 6-12 in West St. Paul, Minnesota. Pfeifer also served as Professor of Education and Director of Clinical Experiences at Martin Luther College (MLC) from 1993 until 2007. Under Pfeifer’s leadership, St. Croix saw significant growth in both traditional and international enrollment numbers, and the campus of the private, Christian, college preparatory school expanded in size.

Upon Pfeifer’s election, Rev. Herbert Huhnerkoch, chair of Bethany’s Board of Regents, said of Pfeifer, “The Regents of Bethany Lutheran College warmly welcome Dr. Pfeifer and his wife, Carrie, to the campus. Throughout the election process, it became clear that Dr. Pfeifer’s dedication to the mission of Bethany Lutheran College, his demonstrated leadership skills, wide-ranging experiences, and desire to prepare leaders grounded in the Christian faith, were personal attributes the College could benefit from as it looks to the future.”

Follow President Pfeifer:

Board of Regents

Members:

  • Rev. Herbert Huhnerkoch, Chair
  • Rev. Mark Bartels, Vice Chair
  • Mr. William Soule, JD, Secretary
  • Mr. Willis Anthony, PhD
  • Rev. Erwin Ekhoff
  • Mr. Lyle Fahning
  • Dr. Joshua Mears
  • Mr. James Minor
  • Rev. Alex Ring
  • Mr. Timothy Roemhildt
  • Mr. Timothy Thiele
  • Rev. David Thompson

Ex Officio Member:

Advisory Members:

Past Presidents

Portrait of Dan Bruss
Dan R. Bruss

Dan R. Bruss Ph.D. was the ninth president of Bethany Lutheran College (BLC). An alumnus of BLC (’73), he returned to lead his alma mater in January 2003 and served until June 2015. Dr. Bruss

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Portrait of Marvin Meyer
Marvin G. Meyer

BLC President, 1982-2002 The Board of Regents called Meyer in November 1982. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. Meyer had been a faculty member of the school since

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Portrait of Norman Holte
Prof. Norman Holte

BLC President, 1978-1982 Holte received a call from the Bethany Lutheran College Board of Regents in August 1978 to serve as the first lay president in the school’s history. Holte had been a member of

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Portrait of Rev. Theodore A. Aaberg
Rev. Theodore A. Aaberg

BLC Interim President, 1977-1978 Aaberg was the president of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary when he was asked to serve as acting president of the college after Raymond Branstad stepped down. Aaberg served until March 1978

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Portrait of Raymond Branstad
Rev. Raymond Branstad

BLC President, 1970-1977 Branstad was serving as pastor of King of Grace Lutheran Church in Golden Valley, Minnesota when he was called to serve as president of Bethany. Branstad took this post on July 1,

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Portrait of Bjarne Teigen
Rev. Dr. Bjarne Wollan Teigen

BLC President, 1950-1970 Teigen became president of the institution in 1950. He served in the capacity of president for 20 years before moving back into the classroom in 1970 and continued to teach until his

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Portrait of Sigurd Ylvisaker
Rev. Dr. Sigurd Christian Ylvisaker

BLC President, 1930-1950 Ylvisaker became the institution’s third president in 1930. He held a doctorate from the University of Leipzig, Germany, and taught at Concordia College, St. Paul, and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, prior

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Portrait of Walter Buzin
Rev. Walter E. Buszin

BLC Interim President, 1929-1930 Buszin was also an ordained minister and a faculty member in the music department at Bethany. He served one academic year (1929-30) as interim president.

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Portrait of Holden Olsen
Rev. Holden Olsen

BLC President, 1927-1929 Olsen had been president of Bethany Ladies College, an institution owned and operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association. The all-girls school was on the brink of folding when the Norwegian Synod

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Portrait of Dan Bruss

Dan R. Bruss

Dan R. Bruss Ph.D. was the ninth president of Bethany Lutheran College (BLC). An alumnus of BLC (’73), he returned to lead his alma mater

READ MORE »
Portrait of Marvin Meyer

Marvin G. Meyer

BLC President, 1982-2002 The Board of Regents called Meyer in November 1982. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa.

READ MORE »
Portrait of Norman Holte

Prof. Norman Holte

BLC President, 1978-1982 Holte received a call from the Bethany Lutheran College Board of Regents in August 1978 to serve as the first lay president

READ MORE »
Portrait of Walter Buzin

Rev. Walter E. Buszin

BLC Interim President, 1929-1930 Buszin was also an ordained minister and a faculty member in the music department at Bethany. He served one academic year

READ MORE »
Portrait of Holden Olsen

Rev. Holden Olsen

BLC President, 1927-1929 Olsen had been president of Bethany Ladies College, an institution owned and operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association. The all-girls school

READ MORE »