Horner is currently president of Cargill Meat Solutions and Cargill Case Ready, headquartered in Wichita, Kan. According to a university press release, Horner is a lifelong Lutheran who has served on the Board of Regents of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., also an ELCA college.
“Jody Horner brings the right gifts and experience to lead Midland University at this juncture,” said the Rev. Mark Wilhelm, ELCA program director for schools. “I welcome her to the community of ELCA college and university presidents, and I look forward to her contributions to strengthening our higher-education network.”
When Horner begins her duties Feb. 1, 2015, she will become the fifth woman to lead an ELCA university or college.
“While our list of candidates began at 200 – a number of them truly exceptional – Ms. Horner’s business acumen and commitment to service consistently rose to the top at each step of the process,” said Gary Perkins, Midland University chairman of the board, in a press release. “Jody Horner proved to be our top candidate, and the board is extraordinarily pleased we secured our first choice to lead this great institution.”
Horner received a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, Minneapolis.
According to the university press release, Horner helped develop a new strategic plan for St. Olaf College and leads a task force exploring strategies to reduce student debt. A featured classroom speaker, she draws on previous experiences managing college recruiting at Cargill to find better methods to connect students with employers after graduation.
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.8 million members [was 5.3 million in 1987] in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God's work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.