Nathan O. Hatch

President, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Became Trustee

Christian Reformed

Career Summary
Nathan O. Hatch became Wake Forest University’s 13th president in 2005. Since then, he has clarified Wake Forest’s mission and strategic plan, made significant realignments in business and medicine, led the largest fundraising effort in the university’s history, and developed new programs to educate the whole person, making personal and career preparedness a key focus and building greater community through a three-year residency requirement. In Hatch’s eighth year at the helm, U.S. News and World Report gave Wake Forest the highest ranking it has received to date: 23rd among 281 national universities.

Dr. Hatch grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, where his father was a Presbyterian minister. A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, he received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and held post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard and Johns Hopkins universities. He joined the faculty at Notre Dame in 1975 and went on to serve as associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters (1983–1988) and then acting dean for one year. In 1989 he was appointed vice president for graduate studies and research. He was named provost, the university’s second highest-ranking position, in 1996—the first Protestant to ever serve in that position at Notre Dame. He also held an appointment as the Andrew V. Tackes Professor of History.

He is regularly cited as one of the most influential scholars in the study of the history of religion in America. He received national acclaim for his 1989 book, The Democratization of American Christianity, in which he examines how the rise of religious groups in the early nineteenth century helped shape American culture and foster democracy. He is also the author or editor of seven other books on religion.

He and his wife, Julie, a former public school teacher, have three adult children—Gregg, David, and Beth—and five grandchildren.

Chair Division I Board of Directors of the NCAA
Member Business Higher Education Forum
American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Board United Way of Forsyth County
Past Organizations
Chair Board of Directors, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)
Board of Directors American Council on Education (ACE)
Member National Council on the Humanities
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