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Walla Walla University Names Alex Bryan as New President

Alex Bryan will become the 24th president of Walla Walla University

Alex Bryan will become Walla Walla University's 24th president. Photo provided by Walla Walla University

On Monday, May 6, 2024, the Walla Walla University Board of Trustees unanimously elected Alex Bryan, to become Walla Walla University’s 24th president.

“We are excited that Dr. Bryan accepted our invitation to serve as Walla Walla University president,” says John Freedman, chair of the board of trustees and president of the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “He has a deep love for and walk with God and His Son, Jesus Christ, which will bless our university students, faculty, and staff. He is committed to our Seventh-day Adventist beliefs and mission, and I and our church members across the Pacific Northwest will lift him up in prayer as he takes this responsibility at Walla Walla University.”

For 13 years Bryan served as a pastor in Georgia and Tennessee before joining Walla Walla University Church (College Place, Washington) as senior pastor in 2009. In 2013, he became president of Kettering College (Dayton, Ohio) for one year, and then returned to Walla Walla University Church to serve as senior pastor another four years.

In 2018, Bryan joined Adventist Health (Roseville, California), where he currently serves as senior vice president and chief mission officer, leading strategy and discourse about ethics, alignment to mission, spiritual care, relationship to faith communities, global mission, theological foundations of healthcare, and also overseeing philanthropy and grants initiatives.

During the past 16 years Bryan has served as adjunct professor teaching theology, business, communication, and honors studies at numerous Seventh-day Adventist universities. He has served as a member of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee, the Upper Columbia Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee, Adventist Bioethics Consortium, SonBridge Community Center Board, Rogers Adventist School board, and Walla Walla Valley Academy board. He currently chairs the Walla Walla Valley Adventist Schools Board.

“I am honored to be called to serve such a special place, one that is dedicated to God and to His glory and to His purposes in the world,” Bryan says. “Our family has called College Place home for 15 years, and we’ve been deeply blessed by the peerless mission of Walla Walla University and its people. I believe that the Christ-centered university is the hope of the world, and we are excited to contribute to this bold venture.”

Bryan earned bachelor of arts degrees in history and religion from Southern Adventist University (Collegedale, Tennessee), a master of divinity degree from Andrews University (Berrien Springs, Michigan), a doctor of ministry degree from George Fox University (Newberg, Oregon), and a master of science degree in bioethics from Albany Medical College (Albany, New York).

His wife, Nicole, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from Walla Walla University, and while a student served as president of the Associated Students of Walla Walla University. She holds a master’s degree in education from Georgia State University (Atlanta, Georgia), and works in the health and physical education department at Walla Walla University. They have two children.

Bryan will replace John McVay, who is retiring after serving as Walla Walla University president for 18 years.

Founded in 1892, Walla Walla University is a private university affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. More than 1,300 students of diverse backgrounds attend WWU across its four campuses throughout the Pacific Northwest. WWU is fully accredited and offers more than 100 areas of study in liberal arts, professional and technical programs firmly rooted in Christian teachings.