Dedicating his professional life to the mission of Catholic education, Daniel J. Elsener became president of Marian College, now Marian University, on August 1, 2001. His journey includes service as a teacher in Omaha, Nebraska; high school principal in Topeka, Kansas; and superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas. He moved to Indiana to continue his professional pursuits, serving the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, first as the secretary/executive director in the Office of Catholic Education and then as secretary/executive director for the Office of Stewardship and Development.
Prior to Marian University, President Elsener served the community and education as the executive director of the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation and Project E Indiana. As executive director, he was a member of the board of directors, responsible for the planning, administration, and implementation of initiatives of the foundation.
Since his inauguration in 2001, President Elsener has been steadfast in his commitment to Marian University. Working together with the Board of Trustees and other key constituencies, he has pledged to build a great Catholic university by building on Marian University’s strong foundation and advancing the university’s mission to provide excellent teaching and learning in the Franciscan and liberal arts traditions. Under President Elsener’s dynamic leadership, the university is committed to elevating its academic stature to a superior level; creating a more vibrant campus through expanded social, intellectual, cultural, and recreational activities; enriching the Catholic and Franciscan dimensions of the university; and providing the financial resources to advance the university’s transformational mission. Marian University is on a trajectory of success, celebrating record-high enrollment, innovative academic programming, new and improved campus facilities, and increased partnerships with alumni and community leaders alike. In short, Marian University is on the move and making history!
President Elsener holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Nebraska. He is a member of the National Catholic Educational Association and Chief Administrators of Catholic Education, American Council on Education, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, board of directors of the Indianapolis chapter of Legatus, Franciscan Colleges and Universities, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, The Indiana Academy, and the Indiana State Board of Education. When called upon, he proudly serves these organizations (and others) as a consultant and/or speaker on topics such as excellence in education, leadership development, stewardship and development, planning, and institutional advancement.
Dan and his wife, Beth, find great joy in their children, grandchildren, church, many civic activities, and, of course, leading Marian University.