Dr. John C. Bowling Honored with CASE V Chief Executive Leadership Award

CASE District V recognizes nearly three decades of exemplary leadership at Olivet.

Lauren Beatty

December 4, 2019 Accolades

On December 17, 2019, University President, Dr. John C. Bowling will receive the CASE V Chief Executive Leadership Award at the CASE District V Conference in Chicago.


The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) is a nonprofit association of educational institutions. It serves professionals in the field of educational advancement. This field encompasses alumni relations, communications, marketing and development for educational institutions such as universities and independent or private schools. CASE, headquartered in Washington, D.C., was founded in 1974. 

The CASE V Chief Executive Leadership Award is presented annually to a president, chancellor, headmaster, system head or chief executive of an accredited CASE District V member institution. Nominated individuals have demonstrated the ability to articulate a compelling vision for their institution; established a positive image for the institution while leading it to high levels of success; increased the institution’s stature in the community; encouraged innovation and risk-taking among employees; and actively supported all aspects of institutional advancement. Dr. Bowling is the 24th individual to receive the award. For more information regarding the award, visit the CASE homepage.

Dr. Bowling, the institution’s longest-serving president, was installed in 1991. Under his leadership the University has flourished and emerged as one of the largest Christian Universities in the United States. This extraordinary progress is evidenced by continued record enrollments, stunning campus improvements, expanded undergraduate and graduate degree programs – including the addition of a doctoral degree, increased academic standards, successful athletic programs and multiple education sites across three states along with a strong online presence, known as “ONU Global.”

Dr. Bowling holds a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees, two earned doctorates, and was chosen as a Resident Fellow for post-doctoral studies at Harvard University. In 2007, he was honored by Olivet with the conferral of the Doctor of Divinity degree as part of the University’s Centennial Celebration. 

In addition to his work at Olivet, Dr. Bowling is active with a variety of professional and local community organizations, including membership on the Board of People’s Bank in Kankakee. He served for many years as vice chairman of the Riverside Health System Board of Directors and for 10 years as a member of the Board of Trustees of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He has also served on the boards of United Way and the Kankakee Valley Chamber of Commerce. He was selected as “Citizen of the Year” by the Chamber and received the Community Alliance Beacon Award in recognition of service, vision and leadership in the community. His special community recognition includes Samaritan of the Year by Riverside HealthCare Foundation and Citizen of the Year by the Kankakee Daily Journal.

Dr. Bowling has authored more than 65 published articles and six books: A Way with Words; Grace-full Leadership; Packin’ Up and Headin’ Out: Making the Most of Your College Adventure; Making the Climb: What a Novice Climber Learned About Life on Mount Kilimanjaro; Above All Else: 20 Years of Baccalaureate Sermons; and ReVision: 13 Strategies to Renew Your Work, Your Organization, and Your Life.

In August 2019, Dr. Bowling announced his plans to retire at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year. Olivet’s Board of Trustees has begun the national search to identify qualified presidential candidates.

Published: 12/4/2019

Lauren Beatty

Lauren Beatty ’13 is a freelance writer, author, editor, artist and an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication at Olivet. She earned a Master of Arts degree in cross-cultural and sustainable business management from the American University of Paris in 2014. Her thesis explored the evolution of socially responsible business practices in America.

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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