Wyoming Catholic College, a unique institution of Catholic liberal arts education, seeks its next President to lead the institution into the coming years. Dr. Glenn Arbery has announced his intention to step down from the Presidency when his contract ends in the summer of 2024. Dr. Arbery has been at the College since 2013, first as a faculty member. He has served as President of the College since May 2016. The Board of Directors now seeks the person who will follow Dr. Arbery as President of the College.
Envisioned in 2004, founded in 2005, and established in Lander in 2007, Wyoming Catholic College graduated its first class of 34 on May 14, 2011. Wyoming Catholic College is a young institution in an active growth phase. Its next President will be charged with the formidable challenge of growing the College from its current enrollment of under 200 students while preserving and protecting its close-knit character and distinctive personality. Targeting a future enrollment of up to 400 students, the next President of WCC will require excellent fundraising skills.
Wyoming Catholic College does not and will not accept Federal funds. It is one of a limited number of Catholic colleges recommended by the Cardinal Newman Society. Interested parties can find their recommendation on the CNS website. The College seeks a solid visionary and capable fundraiser to usher it into this new era. Fidelity to the Philosophical Vision Statement of the College, written by the college founders, is a primary requirement.
The following information is intended for applicants and nominators to understand better the College’s mission, its leadership needs, and the search process.
Wyoming Catholic College is a four-year coeducational Catholic College, whose objective is to offer a traditional liberal arts education that schools the person in all three dimensions – body, mind, and spirit. We accomplish this by immersing our students in the beauty of the outdoors, God’s First Book, and utilizing that demanding “classroom” to teach leadership skills experientially. We introduce our students to the wisdom of the Western tradition as found in the Great Books of the past millennia, taking God’s inspired words as the keystone. Our rich Catholic spiritual heritage is integrated into the rhythm of daily life in a tightly-knit community of friends.
This unique combination of educational spheres results in graduates who know there is truth and how to seek it. Socratic seminars teach them how to think clearly and express their thoughts eloquently. Their extensive reading of great literature leads them to know how to learn well and to expect to find delight in learning throughout their lives. Their experience of daily liturgy and the study of Scripture and the Church Fathers help them to know how to attain a great measure of happiness through a moral life led by the Lord Jesus Christ. These experiences lead them to understand how to be influential leaders of others in the search for truth and the pursuit of the good.
WCC’s curriculum is chronological and integrated across all disciplines. It embraces theology, philosophy, literature, history, art history, writing, logic, oratory, Latin, music, mathematics, natural science, leadership, and horsemanship. Students graduate with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts. This foundational education, characterized by both breadth and depth, prepares the student to live an intelligent, meaningful, and contributive life amid family, church, and society. With incomparable thoroughness, such a program develops the core abilities and virtues necessary to excel in any worthy career or path in life.
The College distinguishes itself by its setting and landscape. Situated in the foothills of the Wind River Range, the College is grounded in the strata of ancient wisdom and inspired by the belief in an ascent to truth discoverable by effort and discipline; here, the ancient Western tradition of the liberal arts merges with the uniqueness of the American West. Faculty and students rejoice in the beauty surrounding them and the generous givenness of creation. In an age when individuals are encouraged to believe they are sovereign over their private worlds, the curriculum looks outward to perennial shared realities, both in nature and in the riches of culture.
First-year students begin their studies with a three-week mountain wilderness experience that develops leadership skills, awakens wonder, and offers poetic insight. In the classroom, students deepen their understanding: they experience the illumination of imagination and intellect through the classical Trivium, the Great Books, and the traditional disciplines of thought, including literature, philosophy, theology, mathematics, the Sciences, and the Arts. Great ideas—like nature itself, never old, never outdated—come down from the heights with an essential freshness. When students experience that promise, it changes their expectations from mere economic comfort to real felicity. The intellectual experience of “the best that has been thought and said” allows them to see reality whole rather than in narrow specializations. Daily encouragement in the liturgy and devotions of the Catholic Church, including its rich musical forms and its visual art, provides them an opportunity afforded to few in the contemporary world: to know Jesus Christ through beauty and to grow in the interior life.
WCC’s calling, its charge as a college, is to ennoble its students, to prepare them for the heroism and humility they will need to bear witness to the complex nature of the truths they learn. They take their turns as leaders throughout their four years on horseback or backpacking in the Tetons, directing a seminar or defending an argument. They also learn to follow attentively in the outdoors and in the classroom without rancor or complaint. In every aspect of education at WCC, they face personal challenges and form deep friendships in conversation with faculty and classmates who share their ideals and encourage their noblest hopes. As our Philosophical Vision Statement says, “Wyoming Catholic College is devoted exclusively to providing its students with a true liberal education, which aims at an intrinsic rather than extrinsic end, is general rather than specialized, prepares a person for leisure rather than work, and creates a free man capable of leading a good life.” The Western tradition understands Leisure as the basis of culture. By Leisure it understands “the cheerful affirmation by man of his own existence, of the world as a whole, and of God,” as Josef Pieper puts it. Leisure alone is truly free, and from this Sabbath arises the “special freshness of action” that characterizes WCC students.
Graduates of Wyoming Catholic College are prepared to thrive in any career they choose, but they will bring more than professional competence to whatever they do. They will help reshape the culture through their creative fidelity to the rock on which our civilization was founded. They will be engaged in the contemporary world as ambassadors descended from the high homelands.
The Higher Learning Commission accredited Wyoming Catholic College on November 1, 2018. For more information on accreditation, please see the webpage that explains the history. https://wyomingcatholic.edu/academics/accreditation/
The next President of Wyoming Catholic College will have an extraordinary opportunity to impact the mission of the College and the state of Catholic higher education in America. The College is one of a kind and has demonstrated the success of its educational mission over the first several years of its existence. The successful candidate will possess the vision, energy, and leadership to build upon this success and fulfill the co-founders’ ultimate vision.
The President is responsible for the whole ongoing enterprise of Wyoming Catholic College. The members of the Board choose the President to supervise the daily operations of WCC, and he answers to the Board’s general mandate to serve the College’s good in all its dimensions and implement the Board’s specific directives.
The President is responsible to all those who constitute WCC as a living entity: faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, parents, townspeople, and supporters. The President gives the overall direction and he or she is responsible for good relations with all constituents.
The Board of Directors has established the following criteria as required of the next President:
- He or she must be a practicing Catholic, free from any impediments, and loyal to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. The President’s personal and professional life should illustrate virtuous character and be a model to students and staff alike.
- He or she must possess a complete understanding and belief in the mission and vision of Wyoming Catholic College, as thoroughly described in The Philosophical Vision Statement. The President will be able to articulate the ideals and goals of the College mission with eloquence, clarity, and passion.
- He or she must possess a demonstrated track record of fundraising major gifts through an organized and professional process. The President will be at ease speaking with and in front of constituencies, asking for charitable donations, and spending substantial time on these efforts.
- He or she must have personal experience with and a solid commitment to liberal arts in a higher education setting.
As the Chief Executive Officer of Wyoming Catholic College, the next President will possess the demonstrated skill and capacity to provide leadership in the following ways:
- Exhibit a strong entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for growing an institution.
- Develop long-range plans for the College consistent with the founding document.
- Demonstrate a habit of decision-making that is reflective, data-supported, mission-driven, consultative, and firm.
- Supervise employees and operational and academic affairs of the College, subject to the oversight of the Board of Directors.
- Have experience with and knowledge of budgets and budget oversight, including collaboratively setting budget priorities.
- Demonstrate success working with faculty.
- Work effectively with faculty, administrative, and board committees to improve the College and strengthen the sense of community.
- Be the ambassador of the College to the. external community, ecclesiastical and secular.
- Be willing and able to travel as necessary while exercising solid on-campus leadership.
- Understand and communicate the broader issues driving the national Catholic higher education agenda.
The board-appointed Presidential Search Advisory Committee will begin reviewing applicants in the late Fall of 2022. The members of this Committee will conduct extensive phone interviews to narrow the applicant pool. They will invite a limited number of finalists to campus for in-person interviews with the Board of Directors and campus constituencies.
The Board desires to finalize the appointment by Fall 2023 and the new President to assume office by July 1, 2024.
Candidates should send a reflective letter of interest to the search committee, addressing how their background and qualifications match those of the presidential profile.
All information, including candidate names and letters of interest, will be kept in strict confidence by members of the Committee. Inquiries should include a current resume or curriculum vitae and a list of five professional references, including phone numbers and job titles. (We will only contact references during the semi-finalist stage and with the advance permission of the candidate.) Send materials as an email attachment in MS Word or PDF to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marie deLorimier Wilmer (Chair)
Dr. Glenn Arbery
Dr. Jeremy Holmes
Dr. Thomas Zimmer