Retiring FPU President Dr. D. Merrill Ewert receives PacWest Presidential Achievement Award
NEWPORT BEACH, CA – Retiring Fresno Pacific University President Dr. D. Merrill Ewert has been presented with the Pacific West Conference Presidential Achievement Award.
The honor is bestowed upon presidents of PacWest institutions for their outstanding service to their college or university, and for their commitment to collegiate athletics.
Ewert received the award during the annual PacWest Presidents Dinner in Newport Beach on Thursday, May 31. The event was held in conjunction with the annual PacWest Meetings that took place May 30-June 1.
About Dr. D. Merrill Ewert
Dr. D. Merrill Ewert arrived at Fresno Pacific University a decade ago when he began his tenure as president of the institution.
During his career at FPU, Ewert has provided leadership for a university that currently enrolls 1,120 regular undergraduate students, 1,243 students in a degree completion program, and 969 graduate students, while another 8,000 people participate in continuing education courses and programs.
Ewert is frequently sought to speak at community and university events, and he is active on local civic boards and in area educational organizations, Rotary Club of Fresno, Fresno Business Council, Central Valley Higher Education Consortium and the Fresno Education Compact.
Ewert earned his doctorate and master’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison. He obtained his Ph.D. in adult and continuing education in 1997, while he finished his master’s degree in 1971 in the field of cultural anthropology.
In 1967, Ewert began his collegiate career at Tabor College in Hillsboro, KS, where he completed his bachelor’s of art degree in social science.
A large part of his professional career was spent at prestigious Cornell University where he served a multitude of roles.
From April of 1998 until leaving for Fresno Pacific, he was the director and associate dean at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, where he provided leadership and management oversight. He was responsible for 57 county extension offices around the state of New York, a staff of 1,700 employees, and an annual budget of $120 million. He also advised graduate students and carried out research on values and community-based development.
Prior to taking over the Extension duties, Ewert served as an assistant professor of education from 1991-96 and then an associate professor of education from 1996-98 at Cornell.
From 1986-90, Ewert served as the director of extension and continuing education at Wheaton College in Illinois.
While at Wheaton, Ewert defined program direction, developed media packages, marketed distance-learning courses, and managed department staff. He developed and promoted continuing education workshops and seminars for adult learners, and taught graduate courses in adult education, community development, and cross-cultural education.
Ewert’s commitment to service and education stems from his roots of working with the Medical Assistance Program, or MAP International. He served as the Africa Regional Director in Nairobi, Kenya, from 1984-86, establishing and managing the organization’s regional program. He also recruited and trained international staff, and initiated and conducted training seminars throughout the region on rural development, cross-cultural education, and the training-of-trainers.
From 1981-84, he was MAP International’s director of training and non-formal education, leading workshops on community-based development, health education, and cross-cultural education. He designed and produced curricular materials on health development, published articles on community development for the professional literature, and provided consultancy services to rural development projects around the world.
From 1977-81, Ewert served as an assistant professor in adult education at the University of Maryland, while from 1973-76 he was the project director for the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Kikwit, Congo.
While in Congo, he planned and implemented rural development projects, and selected and trained teams of extension and community development staff. Ewert also administered the program and led workshops on adult education, program design, project evaluation and community development.
From 1967-69, Ewert served on the Mennonite Brethren Board of Missions and Services in Kajiji, Congo, and was the relief coordinator and extension educator for the organization’s United State office in Hillsboro.
His responsibilities included administering a feeding program in southern Congo; managing budgeting, purchasing and shipping supplies; and managing the distribution system. He also developed and implemented a community-based agricultural extension project.
Ewert’s career has included numerous honors, including Tabor College Alumni Merit Award (2007), Fulbright Senior Scholar (1997-98 in Cebu, Philippines), Outstanding Service Award by the Maryland Association for Adult Education (1981), Distinguished Service Award by the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (1980), and the Tabor College Alumni Medallion Award for an outstanding young alumnus (1978).
For 10 years from 1992-2002, Ewert was a consulting editor with Adult Education Quarterly, while for eight years from 1994-2002 he was a member of the editorial board for the Journal of the Community Development Society.
In addition to his outstanding career, Ewert is multilingual. He is fluent in Lingua Franca Kikongo and also speaks French and Low German.