published Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Nielson to step down as Covenant president in 2012

Covenant College President Niel Nielson plans to leave the school next year to lead a new global Christian education center.

Nielson has served as Covenant president since 2002 and will step down on June 30, 2012, to become president of the new Maclellan Center for Global Christian Education, an initiative of the Maclellan Family Foundations.

Because he wants to focus on his job, Nielson declined to explain what the center is, what his duties as the center’s president will be, or discuss his past accomplishments as president.

“I just don’t want to create any distractions for what I have to do for the next 15 months,” he said. “I don’t think it’s fair to the college for me to talk about this as if I’m at the end, because I’m not.”

As his career with Covenant comes to a close, Nielson hopes to finish out a $53 million fundraising campaign to, among other projects, refurbish the school’s main building.

“We’ve still got some work ahead of us, but we’re excited about that,” he said.

Covenant is a Christian liberal arts school on Lookout Mountain with about 1,000 students. The college’s board of trustees will soon appoint a search committee and begin selecting the college’s sixth president.

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