Robert J Prins, former Iowa Wesleyan College President, died Sunday, November 14, in Canon City, Colorado.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, November 29, at 11 a.m. at the United Presbyterian Church of Canon City.
Prins was named the 25th president of Iowa Wesleyan in 1986. He retired from that position in May, 1999. He was the longest serving president in Iowa Wesleyan’s history.
Under Prins’ leadership, Iowa Wesleyan successfully completed its first $10 million campaign. A second $10 million, which included the $4 million Howe Student Activity Center, was underway at the time of his retirement. He is credited with significantly increasing the College endowment, stabilizing enrollment, increasing the number of international students enrolled, and executing a number of deferred maintenance and renovation projects during his tenure.
He served as a member of the Mt. Pleasant Manufacturers Association and was on the board of Junior Achievement of Southeast Iowa. He was chair of the board of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, a member of the board of the Iowa College Foundation, member of the Board of the American League of Colleges and Universities, and chair-elect of the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Mt. Pleasant.
During his career, Prins served seven colleges in numerous administrative roles. He was Assistant to the President at Hope College (Michigan), Vice President for Planning and Development at Park College (Missouri), Executive Vice President at the College of Emporia (Kansas), Director of Finance and Development at the Abbey School and the Benedictine Society of Colorado, Director of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the KCOM Foundation a the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (Missouri), and Vice President for Development at McKendree College (Illinois).
He served as visiting lecturer for the Potomac International Corporation for 12 years, travelling to Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong, and as a lecturer at the Aspen Fundraising Institute (Colorado) for 14 years.
Prins was a graduate of Hope College. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree from the College of Emporia. Upon retirement, he was awarded honorary alumnus status, as well as an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, from Iowa Wesleyan. He was also named President Emeritus.
Prins is survived by his wife, Ruth, and their six children.
The family has designated memorials to Iowa Wesleyan College, Habitat for Humanity and the United Presbyterian Church of Canon City.