President, Lewis & Clark College
Returnee – Netherlands to the U.S., 1968-69; Volunteer
Wim Wiewel, who came from the Netherlands to the U.S. as an AFS student in 1968, is Lewis & Clark’s 25th president. He took the helm on October 1, 2017, after nine years leading Portland State University.
During his first year at Lewis & Clark, he led fundraising initiatives that produced a record-setting $22 million in gifts and pledges. He also launched an institution-wide strategic planning process and set the stage for developing a campus master plan.
A recipient of a classic liberal arts education as a high school student in his native Amsterdam, Wim learned early on the value of a broad-based education rooted in critical thinking and analysis. The first in his family to go to college, he holds degrees in sociology and urban planning from the University of Amsterdam and a Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University.
Both his own life experiences and academic work underscore his deep commitment to the importance of international education. Lewis & Clark embeds global perspectives as one of its core values, and President Wiewel has written, “We need international students as part of the worldwide exchange of people and ideas. Neither institutions of higher education nor society at large can afford to stifle the movement of people and ideas when the greatest challenges facing humanity – from climate change to the global refugee crisis to terrorism and health crises – can only be solved through greater collaboration and innovative applications of knowledge.”
A longtime advocate of teaching and practicing sustainability, Wim works closely with civic, business, and academic leaders to drive collaboration and received the 2012 inaugural Presidential Leadership Award from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools. He is also a proponent of strong civic engagement, which benefits both the college and the community it calls home and is a nationally recognized expert in urban planning and in the way colleges and universities strengthen their home cities.
Wim has authored or edited nine books and more than 65 articles and chapters that have appeared in such publications as Economic Geography and the Journal of the American Planning Association. His most recent books are Global Universities and Urban Development and Suburban Sprawl.
He is married to the architect Alice Wiewel, and together they have four children. Admirers of Portland’s eclectic cultural offerings and of Oregon’s amazing natural beauty, Wim and Alice take time to hike, camp and explore the mountains, coasts, and deserts. They also attend lots of performances and games in town, and frequent community receptions and dinners.