Robert C. Helmer

The Helmer Family

Robert C. Helmer Named Ninth President at Baldwin Wallace University

Robert C. Helmer, president of Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio, has been named the ninth president of Baldwin Wallace University. The appointment is effective July 1.

He will succeed Richard W. Durst, the Baldwin Wallace president since 2006, who retires June 30. Helmer's selection follows a national search and was unanimously approved at the winter meeting of the BW Board of Trustees.

"Dynamic Leader with Demonstrated Strengths"

"Bob Helmer has established himself as a dynamic leader with demonstrated strengths in curriculum development, enrollment, campus life, fund raising and facility development during his tenure at Lourdes," said Paul Carleton, chair of the BW Board of Trustees, who also chaired the Presidential Search Committee. "He also has a personal warmth and presence that already has connected with many portions of our College community.

"We had a particularly strong field of candidates," added Carleton. "We are confident that this national search has yielded a person who will continue the BW tradition of exceptional leadership as we enter the next phase of growth and development at Baldwin Wallace. We look forward to working with him to provide the finest opportunities for learning and personal growth for each BW student."

Sitting President and Professor

Dr. Helmer has been President of Lourdes University since 2003. He joined the faculty there in 1996 and was appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2001. Prior to coming to Lourdes in 1996, he was a Teaching Fellow and Research Assistant at Marquette University (1991-96) and also held adjunct teaching positions at Indiana University (1990-91) and Ancilla College (1987-89). His scholarly interests are in early Christian origins and apocalyptic literature. He currently holds the faculty rank of professor in the Lourdes Department of History.

Dr. Helmer is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. He also serves on the boards of northwest Ohio organizations, including the Sylvania Chamber of Commerce, Flower Hospital, United Way of Greater Toledo, the Toledo Symphony, and Imagination Station.

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and The Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, Helmer received his Ph.D. from Marquette University and his J.D. from the University of Toledo.

He and his wife, Linda, have two daughters and will live in the President’s House on the Baldwin Wallace University campus.

Baldwin Wallace Values

When founded in 1845, Baldwin Wallace University was one of the first colleges to admit students without regard to race or gender. Today, BW maintains its commitment to prepare contributing, compassionate citizens thorough academic programs rooted in the liberal arts and sciences and customized for each student with experiential learning opportunities such as internships, primary research, study abroad and community service.

Noted for academic quality across its curriculum, Baldwin Wallace is a vibrant institution serving approximately 3,000 full-time undergraduates, 600 part-time students in evening/weekend programs and more than 700 graduate students in education and business. Its Conservatory of Music is internationally renowned.

Lourdes University Milestones
During the Presidency of Robert C. Helmer

  • Academic expansion has occurred with the creation of new undergraduate programs and several collaborations for pre-professional programs
  • Graduate programming was strengthened with the addition of programs in nursing education and leadership (MSN); theology (MA), teaching and curriculum (MEd), reading (MEd), nursing anesthesia (MSN), business administration (MBA) and liberal studies (MALS)
  • Individual and departmental scholarship of faculty has risenThe institution's physical resources were enhanced and property acquired to allow for future expansion. New structures include McAlear and Delp halls, a Student Center and a Dining Hall
  • Campus Ministry, campus technology and Student Life programs were enhanced
  • Eight consecutive years of record enrollment
  • Student enrollment (currently 2,653) more than doubled with 110% growth
  • Intercollegiate athletics established at the University (NAIA, WHAC division)
  • Significant expansion of Residential Life programming
  • Student retention improved and an innovative First-Year Experience was introduced


Posted 2/12

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