Wyoming Catholic College named Louisiana educator as its second President on Thursday
(Lander, Wyo.) – Wyoming Catholic College Thursday announced the selection of Kevin D. Roberts, Ph.D, of Layfayette, Louisiana, as the new President of Wyoming Catholic College. Roberts will become the second president of the Lander-based Catholic Liberal Arts college upon the retirement of the co-founding President. Rev. Robert W. Cook.
Seven years ago Roberts co-founded and was the first President and Headmaster of John Paul the Great Academy, a coeducational, PK-12, Catholic liberal arts school. The Academy is already ranked by the Cardinal Newman Society as one on the top-50 Catholic high schools in the United States, and has a distinguished record of vocation discernment, according to a statement from WCC.
Fr. Cook greeted the decision of the Board of Directors. “I am delighted that Dr. Roberts will be the new President and bring his experience, proven leadership, youth, and zeal to continue building up Wyoming Catholic College. It is clear that Dr. Roberts fully understands the mission of the College, its fine liberal arts curriculum, and he embraces the unique leadership training program that has been developed here,” he said. “I greatly appreciate his unshakeable commitment to the Catholic faith and the Catholic identity of our College. I welcome him and his family to Wyoming and all of us here look forward to many years of exceptional leadership by Dr. Roberts as our second Wyoming Catholic College President.”
Dr. Roberts received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Texas at Austin, his M.A. from Virginia Tech University, and his B.A. from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He has taught at universities, colleges, and a catechetical institute, including New Mexico State University, Austin Community College, Kaplan University, and the University of Louisiana. Dr. Roberts became a Certified Fund Raising Executive in 2012, is presently a Co-Director of the Cardinal Newman Institute for the New Evangelization, and was a past Executive Director of Catholic Families of America. He is currently writing a biography of Archbishop John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States. Dr. Roberts and his wife, Michelle, will soon move to Lander along with their four children, ages 3 to 11
“I am deeply humbled by the calling to build upon the strengths of Wyoming Catholic College, and to follow the legacy of Father Bob Cook, who has done a remarkable job in leading the College through its first phases,” Roberts said after learning he was the choice as the college’s second president. “He has done so with a spirit of magnanimity that I hope to emulate. Michelle and I, and our children, look forward to becoming part of the College community and also getting to know, as neighbors and friends, the good people of Lander, Fremont County, and Wyoming. Lander is a perfect home for our family, so we look forward to planting our permanent roots there.”
David Kellogg, Chairman of the WCC Board of Directors said Roberts “brings to us everything we could have hoped to see in a new president, an unequivocal commitment to the College’s Catholic identity, deep experience in collegiate academics and academic administration, a passionate love of the liberal arts, and a keen appreciation for our unique student leadership program. We believe that the college has been blessed with a remarkably talented gentleman, who will make a superlative President.”
During Fr. Cook’s tenure, Wyoming Catholic College received international recognition as “the most unique Catholic College in America.” The College focuses on educating the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—emphasizing seven key objectives: Catholic community; spiritual formation; liberal arts education; integrated curriculum; the Great Books; leadership formation and immersion in the outdoors; and excellent teaching. This spring, the College will graduate it third class. Alumni of the College have developed an excellent reputation for their work ethic and leadership abilities; critical thinking skills; ability to speak and write with clarity; passion for their Catholic faith; and strong knowledge of the intellectual heritage of Western Civilization.
The College is currently housed in several facilities around Lander, including classrooms and dormitories on the campus of Holy Rosary Parish, a Downtown Center in Lander and in the former American Legion Hall on North Third Street. According to the WCC statement, over time, the college will build its permanent campus on a secluded ranch valley just south of Lander, the Broken Anvil Ranch, which was gifted to the college by Francie Mortensen of Lander.
Dr. Roberts and his family.