Dean of Valpo’s Honors College Named St. John’s College President

By: Valparaiso University Last Updated: April 27, 2017

VU-Panayiotis-Peter-KanelosValparaiso University announces that Panayiotis (Peter) Kanelos, Ph.D., who serves as dean of Christ College — The Honors College, will step down at the end of the 2016–2017 academic year to become the 24th president of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., the third oldest college in the United States.

“It has been a privilege to serve as dean of Christ College and to be a part of Valparaiso University. Valpo shines because it upholds what is highest in higher education — the common pursuit of truth carried on by a community that cares about one another and about the greater world,” Kanelos said. “I am so grateful to have been embraced by this community, to have worked side by side with such remarkable colleagues and to have shared these years with such wonderful students. My time at Valpo has been a treasure and a blessing.”

Kanelos joined the Valparaiso University community in 2013 as dean of Christ College. In his role as dean, he was responsible for the strategic leadership, coordination and guidance of Christ College. Kanelos brought an unmatched devotion to honors education and a deeply rooted enthusiasm for Christian higher education to the College.

Under his leadership, the College’s student body experienced a pattern of growth into a higher caliber, more diverse community. He devoted much time and energy to revising the curriculum in Christ College to ensure students from all Colleges were primed for success in both Christ College and their particular majors.

“I am truly grateful to Dean Kanelos for his leadership and service to the students, faculty and staff across the University. He embraced the Valpo ethos, cultivating in students a passion for scholarly and spiritual pursuits and ushering the College through a period of strength and innovation,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president. “While his dedication and energy will be greatly missed, I am certain St. John’s will prosper under his leadership.

Kanelos played an integral role in establishing collaborative relationships with departments across campus through events like Shakespeare Week as well as the restructured Christ College Symposium. He also helped cultivate the Study Abroad program by introducing Christ College Study Abroad courses in Greece, Ireland and Japan and establishing an exchange program with University College Utrecht, a European honors college. Kanelos’ commitment to internationalization extended even further, bringing international students to Christ College through the Fulbright program

While dean, Mueller Hall, home to Christ College, underwent extensive renovations to provide state-of-the-art instruction space and become more accessible for students with disabilities.

Beyond Christ College, Kanelos served the University in numerous ways, leading both the Retention Task Force and the initiative to re-envision Valpo’s Study Abroad centers in Cambridge, England and Reutlingen, Germany.

Prior to his tenure at Valpo, Kanelos was a faculty member at Loyola University Chicago, where he served as an associate professor in the fine and performing arts department, a core faculty member of the honors program and the founding director of the Interdisciplinary Shakespeare Studies Program.

Kanelos has published extensively and is frequently invited to address national and international audiences on subjects related to Shakespeare, most recently at the Globe Theatre in London.