Religion Professor Alan Kolp Retires After 22 Years

Alan Kolp’s time at BW is drawing to a close – the religion professor is planning to retire after 22 years of serving our community.  

Kolp, holder of BW’s chair in faith and life, has been key to the growth and development of Baldwin Wallace University. Since joining the community in the summer of 2000, Kolp’s roles have expanded far beyond the title of professor. 

For over two decades, Kolp was involved in major projects at BW, including being one of the founders of the Center for Innovation and Growth (CIG), and being a faculty representative for the NCAA.  

Coming from Earlham College, a small school in Indiana, Baldwin Wallace provided Kolp with a fresh start with new possibilities. According to Kolp, spending half of his time working in the religion department and spending the other half meeting with the external church community and leaders allowed him to start on many new projects and meet many new people.  

“[My position] wasn’t closely defined and that really appealed to me,” Kolp said. “I knew I would do something significant, but I wasn’t sure what, and I was good with that.” 

One of his most prominent projects was the creation of the CIG over 15 years ago. Kolp, along with previous dean of the business school, Peter Rey, created the CIG in the fall of 2007 with the hope of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship around BW’s campus.  

“The whole CIG thing is pretty cool,” Kolp said. “In some ways I look back and think how cool it is [that] we started something 15-plus years ago, and it’s still going well.”  

Yet, according to Kolp, his greatest success story is not necessarily the projects he has worked on, or even the legacy he is leaving behind. His most proud achievements come down to the relationships he has formed with students and faculty. 

“It’s the relationships that are key, it’s the people that are key,” Kolp said. “Students are the reason BW exists.”  

After working diligently for the BW community for over 20 years, one would expect a life of relaxation and travel, but Kolp said his retirement does not mark an end, but rather a beginning. Book writing, seminar speaking, business consulting, and collaborating with local churches are all on Kolp’s to-do list after retirement.  

“I am choosing to see that I am a part of the graduating class,” Kolp said. “I am going to start a new chapter. 

“I am done at BW, but I am not finished,” Kolp said.