Dr. Gary H. Quehl '60
2022 Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement College of Education and Human Services
Dr. Gary H. Quehl '60 has played a major role in advancing the welfare and interests of independent colleges and universities nationwide and is a pioneering example of an alumnus living out Carroll’s mission of lifelong learning. Quehl’s 26 year career in higher education has been characterized by high energy, visionary leadership, and a gift for innovation.
On completing his masters and doctoral degrees, Quehl became director of institutional research at Wittenberg University (Ohio) and assistant professor of philosophy. There, he also designed and directed one of the nation’s first Upward Bound programs to help prepare disadvantaged youth for higher education. He was then asked to orchestrate a regional Ford Foundation program to recruit and retain minority college students. During this early stage of his career, Quehl also co-directed the nation’s first statewide study of private higher education that helped to foster the creation of 47 state associations of independent colleges and universities now found across the country.
After serving at Lindenwood College as academic vice-president and dean of faculty, Quehl became President of the College Center of the Finger Lakes, a consortium of private colleges and universities in Upstate New York; his accomplishments there attracted the attention of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), in Washington, DC. Quehl would then serve as CIC President for 12 years leading numerous projects, including undergraduate curriculum reform and a national education campaign (Small Colleges Can Help You Make it Big), with President Ronald Regan as honorary chair. Under his leadership—and those presidents who followed him—CIC has become the largest and most reputable organization of private colleges and universities in the country.
Quehl was then elected President of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He and his staff mobilized over 1,000 education, business, foundation, and political leaders to plan and implement the first national public relations initiative between higher education and the American public. That effort resulted in the widespread distribution of his national study, Higher Education and the Public Interest. While at CASE, Quehl was also instrumental in establishing an office to bring fund raising and public relations services to colleges and universities in Australia, Canada, and Europe.
Following his leadership posts at CIC and CASE, Quehl established a national firm in San Francisco to serve colleges and universities. He consulted with campuses in the areas of fundraising, strategic planning, board development, academic program assessment, faculty development, and enrollment management. His clients included such institutions as the University of Wisconsin, Washington and Jefferson College, and the California State University System Board of Trustees.
Quehl has made numerous contributions as a writer and public speaker. He has written, co-authored, edited and published more than 32 books and articles in the fields of philanthropy, public affairs, and higher education; his most recent include The Sages Among Us (the result of a two-year study of community leaders in Grass Valley and Nevada City, CA) and a sequel to that book, Generativity. Also, he served on 50 boards during a 45-year period, led leadership seminars for non-profit and for-profit organizations, and was a senior fundraiser in helping colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations to raise over $300 million in philanthropic support.
Quehl holds a bachelor’s degree from Carroll University in elementary education and earned a master’s degree and interdisciplinary doctorate in philosophy, political science, and higher education administration from Indiana University. He was recognized by his graduate school alma mater in 1988 as recipient of IU’s School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award. He also has been awarded four honorary degrees, was listed in Who’s Who in America, and early in his career was selected by Change Magazine as one of 100 young leaders in American higher education.
In addition, Quehl served on the Carroll Board of Trustees from 1971-1987. His brother, Mark '66 and sister-in-law Claudia (Judd) '67 Quehl are also Carroll graduates. He lives in Grass Valley, CA, with his wife, Bonnie and has two adult children, Catherine and Scott.