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Valpo Remembers

President Emeritus Alan F. Harre, Ph.D., ’89H

Fall 2021

Alan F. Harre, Ph.D., ’89H, president emeritus, passed away on Aug. 20, 2020. President Emeritus Harre was born on June 12, 1940, in Nashville, Illinois, to Adolph and Hilda (née Vogt) Harre and was baptized on June 23, 1940, at Trinity Lutheran Church. He grew up in Nashville where he attended school until his sophomore year, continuing his junior and senior year at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Concordia, Missouri, and graduated with the class of 1958.

He attended the first two years of college at St. Paul’s College and received a bachelor of arts from Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1962; a master of divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1966; a master of arts from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Richmond, Virginia, in 1967; and a Ph.D. from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, in 1976.

President Emeritus Harre began his professional career in 1967 as assistant pastor of St. James Lutheran Church of Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, where he also served his seminary internship during the 1964–1965 academic year. In 1973, he joined the theology faculty of Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska. He also served that institution as assistant to the president, as dean of student affairs, and, for a brief period, as acting president. In July 1984, he became president of Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota. He left Concordia, St. Paul, in July 1988.

He was inaugurated as the 17th president of Valparaiso University in October 1988 and faithfully served in this position until his retirement in June 2008. In recognition of his service, he was named one of the University’s 150 most influential people in its history as part of Valpo’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2009.

Upon his inauguration at Valpo, President Emeritus Harre quickly set to work. During his tenure, he ushered in an “Age of Advancement,” overseeing three major fundraising campaigns and successfully raising more than $360 million in gifts and commitments to the University. Under his leadership, the University’s endowment increased significantly, and many campus buildings, including the Center for the Arts, the Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources, the Kade-Duesenberg German House and Cultural Center, and Kallay-Christopher Hall, were dedicated. Prior to his retirement, President Emeritus Harre launched the Our Valpo, Our Time campaign in 2004, which ultimately raised more than $236 million — at the time, the most ever raised by a Lutheran university.

President Emeritus Harre was heavily involved throughout Northwest Indiana. He served on the boards of directors of many local organizations including the Northwest Indiana Forum; the Quality of Life Council; the Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana Inc.; Independent Colleges of Indiana; and the Indiana Campus Compact. He chaired the Council of Presidents of the Associated New American Colleges, the Presidents’ Council of the Mid-Continent Conference for three terms, and the Indiana Conference of Higher Education.

President Emeritus Harre was recognized by the Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce as the recipient of the 1998 Distinguished Community Leader Award. He was the recipient of the 2006 Chief Executive Leadership Award presented by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District V (CASE V). In 2007 he received the Quality of Life Council Lifetime Achievement Award and became an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. In 2008 he received the Outstanding Executive Award from the Association of Lutheran Development Executives and the Indiana Campus Compact Presidential Award for outstanding commitment to the field of service-learning and civic engagement and advocacy for higher education’s involvement on behalf of local communities. Concordia Seminary St. Louis named President Harre as its Distinguished Alumnus award recipient in 2010, and St. Paul’s Lutheran High School presented him with its Apostle Paul award in 2011.

After his retirement, President Emeritus Harre served in a variety of positions relating to his faith. He served as the interim pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Staplehurst, Nebraska, from 2010–2011 and as the vacancy pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Waco, Nebraska, from 2012–2013. He also served as a volunteer advisor, primarily in the area of fundraising, to a number of institutions and agencies affiliated with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

President Emeritus Harre married Diane Mack in August 1964. They had three children, Andrea, Jennifer, and Eric.