John Comerford was announced the next Otterbein University president Tuesday morning in the Campus Center by head of the presidential search committee, Cheryl Herbert, and chair of the board of trustees, Mark Thresher. 

Comerford was previously the president of Blackburn College in Illinois, where he sat as the 16th president.

Herbert noted that confidentiality was key to finding a qualified candidate during the committee’s nine months search. A total of 80 candidates had applied. 

Thresher made note in his opening remarks that Comerford’s commitment to family, affordability, access of Otterbein and the growth in both enrollment and diversity were some of the main reasons the committee picked him. 


In his remarks to the audience, Comerford said that Otterbein’s ability to forge a new path and not look like so many other private institutions was one of the main reasons he chose to accept the position. He also said that Otterbein’s affordability to students was key and that he believes students come first.