Edgewood College: Remembering President Emeritus Jim Ebben

Madison, Wis. (December 2, 2020) – Edgewood College joins family, friends, and colleagues in remembering and mourning President Emeritus Jim Ebben. Dr. Ebben died Monday, November 30, 2020, surrounded by his loving family.

Dr. Ebben was President of Edgewood College from 1987 until his retirement in 2004. His service to the College is marked by explosive enrollment growth, and significant expansion of campus facilities.

“It is said we stand upon the shoulders of those who have come before us,” President Andrew Manion, said. “With Dr. Ebben’s passing, our students, faculty, and staff all recognize that truth; Jim’s leadership, compassion, imagination, and heart are felt every day in this community. Dr. Ebben’s fidelity to the mission of Edgewood College, and his tireless service to our students, is a legacy that truly lives forever.”

During his 17 years as President, Edgewood College was transformed. The renovation and dedication of the Todd Wehr Edgedome enabled NCAA competition in that building for the first time. The Oscar Rennebohm Library, Sonderegger Science Center, Henry J. Predolin Humanities Center, and Marie Stephen Reges Hall – “Stevie Hall” – were constructed. With the creation of the Sonderegger Science Center came a new entrance to campus: the creation of Edgewood College Drive at Monroe Street. While Jim’s accomplishments shaping a modern campus are remarkable, he is best remembered for his passion for the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, and their dedication to building a more just and compassionate world through teaching and learning. 

Ann McCullough, O.P., was a longtime faculty colleague and currently serves on the Board of Trustees.

“Losing Jim Ebben leaves a vacuum in my spirit,” Sr. Ann said. “Jim and Marilyn Ebben came to Edgewood College at a time when we needed him to lead the College into strength and compassion. He did that so well and Edgewood College is so much better for his presence.”

“I got to know Jim after he had retired as President through his many other activities in the Madison community,” Darrell Behnke, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said. “He was a treasure.  All are better from his faithful contribution to making the world a better place. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we join his family in mourning his loss.” 

A Funeral Mass is scheduled for 11:00 am, Monday, December 7, 2020, at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Madison. Visitation begins at 9:30 am. The service will be livestreamed at www.stamadison.org.