STORM LAKE, Iowa -- Buena Vista University on Friday celebrated the inauguration of college President Brian Lenzmeier in a ceremony at Schaller Memorial Chapel.
Lenzmeier, who had served as BVU's provost and vice president of academic affairs since 2018, was appointed to serve as an interim president of the private university in May of last year, following the abrupt resignation of previous BVU president Joshua Merchant. Lenzmeier was officially named BVU's 19th president on Oct. 26.
But at the time, public safety protocols put the inauguration on hold. The formal, on-campus ceremony was thus held on Friday, almost a year after he'd been named president.
BVU Board of Trustees Chair Michael K. Pierce conducted the installation observance that featured Lenzmeier’s wife, Betsy, placing the BVU President’s medallion around the President’s neck as their sons, Owen and Matthew, looked on, according to an announcement of the ceremonies from BVU.
“I want to mention how humbling it is to stand here right now,” Lenzmeier said, in remarks provided by the college. “I love BVU. I love the people with whom I work. I love seeing what our students do while they are with us, and what they accomplish after they graduate. I want more than anything to see BVU and its stakeholders thrive.”
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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who was in attendance at the ceremony, described Buena Vista University as "an unquestioned academic leader.”
A Willmar, Minnesota native, Lenzmeier came to Buena Vista in 2003 as a professor of biology. He was named BVU Faculty Member of the Year twice and won the 2009 George Wythe Laureate for excellence in teaching.
Enrollment at the college has grown during the past three years, according to figures provided by BVU, from 1,815 students in 2019 to 1,959 at the start of the 2021-22 academic year, an increase of eight percent.