“Dr. vandenBerg embraces the Christian faith and is a lifelong member of the PC (USA),” said E. G. Lassiter, chair of the PC Board of Trustees. The Presbyterian Church (USA) is a denomination of the Presbyterian Church with which PC is affiliated.
“With the many challenges facing higher education, Dr. vandenBerg brings a sense of urgency, initiative, and drive that is going to be needed to address and navigate the changes facing PC over the next decade,” said Lassiter. “He has a personality that will make others want to join with him in that effort.”
VandenBerg brings significant experience from other private colleges. He has served as vice president for advancement at Alma College (Alma, Mich.) since 2015, and added external relations to his leadership in 2018.
Alma College is vandenBerg’s alma mater, as he earned a B.A. in political science from the liberal arts college in 2002. He also holds an Ed.D. in higher education/higher education administration from the University of Pennsylvania and an MPA in policy analysis and nonprofit management from Indiana University Bloomington.
Alma College set records for annual giving and overall philanthropic support during vandenBerg’s nearly six-year tenure as vice president for advancement. VandenBerg also oversaw Alma’s design and launch of the Alma Ambassador Program, a trendsetting constituent engagement initiative. The program recruits volunteers (eg. “Ambassadors”) to assist the school in numerous areas, including admissions, student retention, and career services activities.
“We are looking forward to Matt joining the SCICU family,” said Jeff Perez, SCICU president and CEO. “PC is fortunate to have as its next leader someone who understands so well the myriad challenges facing private colleges and universities.”
Prior to joining Alma College’s leadership team, vandenBerg directed development for Albion College, another private college in Michigan.
VandenBerg’s previous leadership also includes development and alumni relations at Indiana University and CCS Fundraising, a strategic fundraising consulting firm that partners with nonprofits.
Presbyterian’s board named vandenBerg as the college’s next president on Oct. 28.
VandenBerg’s scholarly research has focused on higher education. His doctoral dissertation, “The symbiotic path to mutual value: How small, private, liberal arts institutions understand and manage donor influence,” received the 2019 John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy for Educational Advancement from CASE. His work has been published in “Inside Higher Education” and other publications.