Entrance Torch 2

Alan F. Harre


Valparaiso University President, 1988-2008

Alan F. Harre, Ph.D., was inaugurated as the 17th president of Valparaiso University in October 1988. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind. (1962); a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. (1966); a Master of Arts degree from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Richmond, Va. (1967); and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Wayne State University, Detroit (1976).

He began his professional career in 1967 as assistant pastor of St. James Lutheran Church of Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.,where he also served his seminary internship during the 1964-1965 academic year. In 1973, he joined the theology faculty of Concordia University, Seward, Neb. He also served that institution as assistant to the president, dean of student affairs, and, for a brief period, acting president.

In July 1984, he became president of Concordia University, St. Paul, Minn. He left Concordia, St. Paul, in July 1988 to assume his responsibilities as president at Valparaiso University.

He and his wife, Diane, have three children — Andrea, Jennifer, and Eric — and are the proud grandparents of nine grandchildren.

In the larger Northwest Indiana community, President Harre was a member of the boards of directors of the Northwest Indiana Forum; the Quality of Life Council; the Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana Inc., Independent Colleges of Indiana; and the Indiana Campus Compact. He has chaired the Council of Presidents of the Associated New American Colleges, the Presidents’ Council of the Mid-Continent Conference for three terms, and the Indiana Conference of Higher Education. He was also the co-founder of the local affiliate of Rebuilding Together. He has been appointed to two special committees of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and has served on the board of directors of the Community Development Corporation, Gary Accord Communities in Schools, The Lutheran Educational Conference of North America, and the Porter County Community Foundation.

President Harre participated in a number of local organizations. He served on the advisory board of the Valparaiso Family YMCA. In the area of the upper Midwest, he held membership in the Northwest Indiana Business Roundtable, Advisory Council for Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana Society of Chicago, and the Union League Club of Chicago. He also served two three-year terms as a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce.

President Harre was recognized by the Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce as the recipient of the 1998 Distinguished Community Leader Award. The Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce also nominated him for recognition by the Wal-Mart Foundation, and he was granted the 1999 Sam Walton Business Leader Award. The Asian American Medical Association presented President Harre with its 1999 Crystal Globe Award. Wheat Ridge Ministries presented him with its Seeds of Hope award in 2006, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Chief Executive Leadership Award presented by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District V (CASE V). In 2007 he received the Quality of Life Council Lifetime Achievement Award and became an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. In 2008 he received the Outstanding Executive Award from the Association of Lutheran Development Executives and the Indiana Campus Compact Presidential Award for outstanding commitment to the field of service-learning and civic engagement and advocacy for higher education’s involvement on behalf of local communities. Concordia Seminary St. Louis named President Harre as its Distinguished Alumnus award recipient in 2010, and St. Paul’s Lutheran High School presented him with its Apostle Paul award in 2011.

Since his retirement on June 30, 2008, as President of Valparaiso University, he has been engaged in a variety of activities. He has served as the Interim Pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Staplehurst, Neb. from Jan. 5, 2010, to Aug. 21, 2011. From May 5, 2012, to Aug. 28, 2013, he served as the Vacancy Pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Waco, Neb.. He has served as a volunteer adviser, primarily in the area of fundraising, to a number of institutions and agencies affiliated with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. These include: The Nebraska District of the LCMS, Concordia University-Nebraska, Concordia University-St. Paul, Minn., Concordia Seminary-St. Louis, Mo., Board for World Missions of the LCMS, St. Paul’s Lutheran High School and Ministries-Concordia, Mo., Concordia Lutheran Junior and Senior High School-Omaha, Neb.. and Bethesda Lutheran Communities, Watertown, Wis. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Rupert Dunklau Foundation-Fremont, Neb.

Valparaiso University was founded in 1859 and purchased in 1925 by The Lutheran University Association. It is a nationally recognized institution of higher education, serving approximately 4,000 students annually through its Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Nursing and Health Professions; Christ College – the Honors College; Law School; and Graduate School.