John Allen Roush

President John Roush
John A. Roush

John A. Roush took office on July 1, 1998, as the 20th president of Centre College.


Since 1998, the College has:

• Established the Brown Fellows Program, a premier undergraduate scholars program made possible by a partnership with the Brown Foundation in Louisville.

• Established the Bonner Scholars Program (with an endowment gift from the Bonner Foundation in Princeton, N.J.).

• Added 15 new endowed professorships.

• Instituted a Centre Scholars Program to honor outstanding work at the junior faculty rank.

• Successfully revised its curriculum.

• Invested nearly $100 million in the institution's physical plant the past seven years, including the College Centre, a $24-million expansion and renovation of Crounse Hall (the College’s primary academic space and library) and Sutcliffe Hall (the fitness and recreation facility at Centre); built Pearl Hall, a $15-million student residence; initiated a $45-million Trustee Challenge building project that includes a 40,000-square-foot science addition to Young Hall, a 45,000-square foot Campus Center, and a $3-million renovation of the College’s Norton Center for the Arts. The Campus Center was completed in October, 2009, and the addition to and renovation of Young Hall was completed in the fall of 2010.

• Completed the Campaign for A More Perfect Centre, focused on endowment for student financial aid, scholarships, and academic program enhancements. The campaign, concluded in January 2008, raised nearly $170 million.

• Completed an institutional planning process, titled “Centre Forward,” which holds the promise of setting a new standard for national liberal arts colleges.

• Been named No. 1 among all colleges and universities in the South by Forbes magazine in both 2009 and 2010. Centre continues to receive lofty rankings across the board.


Roush grew up in Ohio and graduated from Kettering Fairmont High School, where he was active in athletics, music, and theater. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Ohio University’s Honors College in 1972, graduating summa cum laude. Active in college athletics, Roush was Ohio University’s Scholar Athlete of the Year and was a three-time Academic All-American in football. He completed his formal education at Miami University, earning a master’s degree in 1973 and Ph.D. in 1979.

He began his career in higher education in 1972 at Miami University as an assistant football coach, then transitioned to administration in 1976, completing his work there in January 1982 as executive assistant to the president.

He joined the University of Richmond in 1982 as executive assistant to the president and was named vice president for planning, executive assistant to the president, and secretary to the board of trustees in 1990. In the late 1980s, he was identified as the “intellectual architect” of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, a multi-disciplinary, undergraduate degree program at the university.

In addition to his work in higher education, Roush was a captain in the U.S. Army. He is a regular contributor to professional journals in the areas of leadership, governance, and finance in higher education, and intercollegiate sport. A member of several professional boards and organizations, Roush has been active in the Association of Governing Boards, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Presbyterian Colleges, the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities, and the American Council on Education. He also remains active in civic and community affairs and in the Presbyterian Church.

He is married to Susie Miller Roush, a native of Dover, Ohio, who earned a bachelor’s degree at Ohio University and a master’s degree at Miami University. In addition to her work as a civic leader in Virginia and Kentucky, she is an accomplished photographer. They are the parents of two sons. Luke Roush, 35, is a 2000 graduate of Duke, and his wife, Brooke Olsen Roush, is a 2000 graduate of Montana State University. They live in Chapel Hill, N.C., with their son, Samuel Olsen Roush, born Sept. 6, 2003, and their daughters, Molly Olsen Roush, born March 26, 2006, and Annie Olsen Roush, born March 15, 2009. Mark Roush, 32, is a 2003 graduate of Northwestern University. He and his wife, Natalie Crable Roush, a 2005 graduate of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, reside in Central Kentucky with their son, Tristan Crable Roush, born January 4, 2011.