Past Presidents

Past Presidents

Michael D. ShonrockDr. Michael D. Shonrock


  • Launched the university's Strategic Plan, "Real Experience. Real Success," including the Q2 Hospitality / Service Excellence Plan
  • Initiated numerous enhancements to information technology, human resources, and facilities.
  • Commenced the university's Main Street Welcome Center.

James D. EvansDr. James D. Evans


  • Launched Lindenwood’s first doctoral program.
  • Established day college at Belleville, Ill., campus.
  • Transitioned athletics to NCAA Division II.

Dennis SpellmannDennis Spellmann


  • Enabled Lindenwood to become completely debt-free.
  • Began an ambitious building program that continued after he passed away in 2006.
  • Increased enrollment four-fold.

James I. SpainhowerDr. James I. Spainhower


  • Served in the Missouri State Legislature and as Missouri state treasurer prior to his time at Lindenwood.
  • Served as the first chairman of the Missouri Children’s Trust Fund.
  • Renewed Lindenwood's historic allegiance to Judeo-Christian values.

Robert JohnsDr. Robert Johns


  • Applied conventional business model to help the college through rough financial times.

William Courtney SpencerDr. William Courtney Spencer


  • Doubled enrollment to over 1,700 students during his tenure.
  • Initiated graduate programs in business and teacher education.
  • Started Lindenwood's College for Individualized Education.

John Anthony BrownDr. John Anthony Brown


  • Founded Lindenwood College for Men in 1969. 
  • Convinced the Missouri State Legislature to provide state aid to students in private colleges for the first time in history.
  • Changed Lindenwood from a women’s college to a coeducational institution.

Franc L. McCluerDr. Franc L. McCluer


  • President of Westminister College in Fulton, Mo., when Winston Churchill gave his “Iron Curtain” Speech.
  • Dr. McCluer’s nickname was "Bullet" due to his oratorical skill.

Harry Morehouse GageDr. Harry Morehouse Gage


  • Outspoken critic of Adolph Hitler before the United States entered World War II.
  • Encouraged students to help with the war effort by raising money for a ship and a plane and conducting blood drives.

John Lincoln RoemerRev. John Lincoln Roemer


  • Refused the position of president three times before finally accepting.
  • Greatly expanded enrollment and built six buildings during his presidency.

John Fenton HendyRev. John Fenton Hendy


  • Served as president of Oswego Women’s College in Oswego, Kan., for three years.
  • Pastored in Jefferson City, Mo., and for many years was considered the most influential minister in Missouri’s capitol city.

George Frederick AyresDr. George Frederick Ayres


  • Received $10,000 from Andrew Carnegie to build Jubilee Hall in 1907 (renamed Ayres Hall in 1927).
  • Died while president.

Matthew Howell ReaserDr. Matthew Howell Reaser


  • Was president of Oswego College prior to his time at Lindenwood.
  • Managed to increase enrollment substantially, reduce debt, and raise money for improvements.

William Sims KnightRev. William Sims Knight


  • Founder of a college in Carthage, Mo., prior to coming to Lindenwood.

Robert IrwinRev. Robert Irwin


  • Added the south wing to Sibley Hall in 1881 and the north wing in 1887.
  • Established Lindenwood’s first gymnasium in 1890.

Mary E. JewellMary E. Jewell


  • Only other woman, besides Mary Sibley, to serve as president of Lindenwood.
  • Very little is known of her, other than she later married A.S. Mermod.

J. Howard NixonRev. J. Howard Nixon


  • Served as pastor to U.S. President Benjamin Harrison when he lived in Indianapolis, Ind.

French StrotherProfessor French Strother


  • Personally held a lease on Lindenwood College and spent a great deal of money on improvements.
  • Southern sympathizer who lost a lawsuit over the control of Lindenwood to the Northern Presbyterian Church.

Thomas P. BarbourRev. Thomas P. Barbour


  • Convinced many parents that Lindenwood would be safe from the battles of the Civil War.
  • Resigned because he refused to take an oath of allegiance to the United States during Reconstruction.

Addison Van Court ScheneckRev. Addison Van Court  Schenck


  • Son died in 1858 and was buried in the cemetery behind Lindenwood.
  • Father-in-law led the daily services for Lindenwood’s students.

Mary SibleyMary Sibley


  • Founded Lindenwood as a Presbyterian women’s college in 1832.
  • Her father, Rufus Easton, was one of the first judges for the Missouri Territory.