AU President Jon Peede (right) with City of Ashland Mayor Matt Miller (left)

President Peede feeling “overjoyed” in first month on campus

Published on June 28, 2024
Ashland University

ASHLAND, Ohio – Jon Parrish Peede has hit the ground running in his new role as president of Ashland University and Ashland Theological Seminary. In less than a month leading AU, he has made a strong first impression via a flurry of meetings with faculty and staff members, as well as alumni and community leaders, such as Mayor Matt Miller (pictured above).

Even prior to officially starting in June, Peede was eager to get involved. He attended a ceremony in April marking a new partnership with Shimadzu, a manufacturer of precision scientific equipment, that will greatly enhance research and scholarship within AU’s College of Arts and Sciences. He also attended a May event where Randy Spade, the director of admissions, was recognized with the prestigious Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s Patriot Award.

As president, he has addressed the Alumni Association Board, attended Ashbrook Academy lectures for high school students and visited with families at new student orientation. His wife, Rev. Nancy Hollomon-Peede, has been particularly drawn to the Ashland Theological Seminary.

“Nancy and I have been overjoyed by the outpouring of support from the Ashland community in our first few weeks here," Peede said. "I have spent my time getting to know the faculty, staff, alumni and supporters. I'm excited to meet our students in August. They are the heart of our campus community and promise of our country.

Named the 31st president of AU on March 27, Peede is the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C. In the presidentially nominated and Senate confirmed role, he annually awarded 1,000 humanities grants and managed a $237 million budget. His 25-plus years of leadership in higher education and federal agencies includes positions at the University of Virginia and the National Endowment for the Arts.

From a faculty standpoint at AU, Greg McBrayer, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and president of the faculty senate, is encouraged by Peede’s response to various initiatives.

“Optimism, hope and excitement. This is what I’m hearing from many of my faculty colleagues,” said McBrayer. “We have appreciated President Peede’s repeated emphasis on academic excellence across the four colleges, and are hopeful that President Peede can work to set Ashland University apart from other colleges and universities in our state and even the Midwest. President Peede’s connections to luminaries in the arts and humanities, his experience working with the NEH and the U.S. Department of Education, his access to key policymakers, we think all of this has the potential to resound to the benefit of our university.”

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.