Alan F. Harre

On Aug. 20, President Emeritus, Alan. F Harre PhD, passed away at home at the age of 80. 

Harre was inaugurated as Valpo’s 17th president in Oct. 1988, where he served for 20 years until his retirement in June 2008. 

Prior to his time at Valpo, he served as the President of Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn. from July 1984 until his Valpo inauguration. Prior to becoming president at Concordia University he had served as assistant to the president and dean of student affairs.  

During his tenure, Harre oversaw the “Age of Advancement” in which VU successfully raised $360 million in gifts and commitments through three fundraising campaigns. The university’s endowment increased under Harre’s supervision which led to the building and dedication of the Center for the Arts, the Christopher Center, the Kade-Duesenberg German House and Cultural Center and the Kallay-Christopher Hall.  

He continued to make large contributions to the University up until his retirement as he launched the “Our Valpo Our Time” campaign in 2004 which raised $236 million for the university.  

Harre was also very active in the broader Valparaiso community as he served as a member of the boards of directors on the Northwest Indiana Forum, the Quality of Life Council, the Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana, Independent Colleges of Indiana, the Porter County Community Foundation, the Lutheran Conference of North America and the Indiana Campus Compact. He also chaired the Presidents’ Council of the Mid-Continent Conference for three terms as well as the Indiana Conference of Higher Education. 

He is also accredited as the co-founder of the local affiliate Rebuilding Together.  

Harre had earned many recognitions for his service, including one of Valpo’s 150 most influential people in its history as part of the Valpo sesquicentennial in 2009.

For his contributions to the broader Valparaiso community he was awarded the 1998 Distinguished Community Leader Award by the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce as well as the 1999 Sam Walton Business Leader Award. He was presented with the 1999 Crystal Globe Award by the Asian American Medical Association, the 2006 Seeds of Hope Award by the Wheat Ridge Ministries, the 2006 Chief Executive Leadership Award by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District V, and the 2007 Quality of LIfe Council Lifetime Achievement award. 

In 2008 he received the Outstanding executive award from the Association of Lutheran Development Executives as well as the Indiana Campus Compact Presidential Award for outstanding commitment to the field of service-learning, civic engagement and advocacy for higher education’s involvement on behalf of local communities. 

In 2010 Concordia Seminary in St. Louis named President Harre as its Distinguished Alumnus and in the following year he was presented with the Apostle Paul award at St. Paul’s Lutheran High School.   

He also became an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia in 2007.  

After his retirement as Valpo’s president, he served in many positions related to his Lutheran faith including the interim pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and the vacancy pastor of St. John Lutheran Church. He also lended his abilities as a volunteer advisor to many different institutions. 

Harre is survived by his wife Diana, three children-- Andrea, Jennifer and Eric-- and nine grandchildren. 

According to current Valpo President Mark Heckler in his email to campus on Aug.21st, Harre’s impact and legacy will be lasting on the Valpo campus. 

“President Emeritus Harre’s steadfast and faithful dedication to Valpo exemplified the character and spirit of the University in everything he did. He modeled leadership and service throughout his life and will be deeply missed by the Valpo community,” Heckler wrote.  


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