College Alumnus Selected as President of Crown College


College Alumnus Selected as President of Crown College

Joel Wiggins elected unanimously by Minnesota school


Communication alumnus Joel Wiggins (Ph.D., Communication Studies '99) has been selected as the next president of Crown College, a four-year, private Christian college located in Saint Bonifacius, Minn.

Wiggins was unanimously elected by the Crown College board of trustees and approved by the board of directors executive committee of the Christian and Missionary Alliance to serve a four-year term beginning July 1, 2013.

"Having started with a pool of more than 60 people who were interested in this position, this was no easy task!" said Don Berglund, chairman of the board for Crown College. "We are excited to move toward our second century with Dr. Wiggins as our president."

As president of Crown College, Wiggins will manage the student body of nearly 1,300 students representing 40 countries. According to a statement by Crown College, Wiggins was selected because of his extensive accomplishments in education, ministry business and fundraising.

A native of Wyandotte, Mich., Wiggins said he enrolled in the Communication Studies program at The University of Texas at Austin in the fall of 1992 because of the reputation of its faculty, national ranking, and breadth of offerings.

While at the Forty Acres, Wiggins taught graduate and undergraduate courses in speech communication, small group communication, and interviewing principles and practices at the College of Communication. In 1996, he joined the staff and eventually became executive director of the Austin Technology Incubator, a nonprofit arm of UT devoted to supporting the formation and growth of high-tech startups.

Through seven years at UT, Wiggins cited several faculty members that motivated him including his advisor, Dean Roderick P. Hart, and current faculty members Rick Cherwitz and John Daly.

"Joel was a wonderful student, mature, smart, and a great guy as well. He was one the nicest students I have worked with at UT," said Daly, the Liddell Centennial Professor of Communication and University Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Communication Studies. "Joel always had an entrepreneurial spirit that made him stand out among his peers – he did great when he ran the technology incubator at IC2. Indeed, there are businesses today in Austin that owe their success to Joel's efforts."

Wiggins has extensive experience with other entrepreneurial networks in the U.S. and abroad and credits the College for providing a quality education and prime credentials. Wiggins said he gained the confidence to hold his own in a very competitive and stimulating academic environment while at UT, which gave him the confidence that he could do the same in other pursuits.

"In my studies, I explored many ideas and organizations from a variety of perspectives," said Wiggins. "This fostered an enthusiasm to appreciate new ideas, new ventures, new ways of looking at things, and in brief – an entrepreneurial mindset which has defined my career since leaving the College."

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Nick Hundley, (512) 471-7209