President’s Welcome

President J. David Arnold portrait

Eureka College will transform you in ways you may not think possible.

Eureka’s founders transformed higher education when they built a liberal arts college that was the first college in Illinois and the third in the nation to admit men and women on an equal basis.

Transformation is a consistent theme throughout our 161-year history.  With a sharp focus on excellence in learning, service, and leadership, Eureka College has graduated thousands of transformative leaders in many fields such as education, law, business and medicine, including 42 college presidents, seven governors and members of Congress, and the 40th President of the United States — Ronald W. Reagan.

Whenever we ask our students and alumni what they like best about EC, the answer is always the same: a deep sense of belonging to a close and caring community.

The EC experience is rich in personal attention and opportunity.  You will find the friendliness and comfort of a small campus environment at Eureka, coupled with the encouragement to take your learning outside the classroom.  You will be challenged and supported as you hold the world in the palm of your hands.

At Eureka College we believe your opportunity to change the world begins here at our historic campus in central Illinois.


Dr. J. David Arnold


About President J. David Arnold

J. David Arnold, Ph.D., is serving in his eleventh year as president and professor of psychology at Eureka College.  During his tenure at Eureka, the College created a strategic plan entitled Growth with Integrity that:

  • Achieved record enrollments and balanced budgets
  • Launched the Ivy Project to achieve campus improvements, including the construction of a new residence hall, Ivy Hall
  • Doubled the percentage of alumni giving

Building on Eureka’s legacy of creating servant leaders, the ReaganForwardSM initiative was implemented in 2008 to focus on leadership and service—related programs include a national academic conference and hosting dozens of guest lectures on servant leadership, including addresses by Mikhail Gorbachev and Sandra Day O’Connor.

Dr. Arnold formerly was vice president for academic and student affairs at Missouri Western State College, in St. Joseph, Mo. He also served as provost at St. John Fisher College and as a dean and grants officer at Clarion University. He started his academic career teaching psychology and writing at St. Lawrence University, a residential liberal arts college where he was tenured and promoted before becoming an associate dean.

As an academic leader and author, Dr. Arnold has focused on forging connections between the curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular spheres of students’ experience in learning communities, engaging faculty in strategic planning, and promoting the “teacher-scholar” model of faculty professional development at liberal arts institutions.

A native of Lancaster, Pa., and the first in his family to graduate from college, Dr. Arnold completed his undergraduate degree with honors at Bloomsburg University (formerly Bloomsburg State College), graduate work at the University of New Hampshire, and summer post-doctoral study at the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. A self-described movie buff and nature enthusiast, Dr. Arnold and his wife Katherine have three grown children and twin granddaughters.