The Tabor College Board of Directors has selected David Janzen to serve as the 14th president of the college. He currently serves as professor and software engineering coordinator in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California.
Janzen’s appointment will take effect July 1, 2021, succeeding Jules Glanzer, who served as president for over 13 years.
“God continues to call people to his work through Tabor College,” Janzen says. “We are excited and passionate about the mission of Tabor, and we pray that God will glorify Himself through this important work.”
Board chair Susan Franz Koslowsky speaks of the board’s confidence in Janzen’s leadership, recognizing him for his authenticity, entrepreneurial spirit, humility and his vibrant faith in Jesus.
“We are thankful for the Lord’s leading in the search process and are very excited that Dr. Janzen has accepted our offer to serve as our next president,” Franz Koslowsky says. “David’s passion for Tabor and his love for the Lord are evident.”
Glanzer speaks of his interaction with Janzen and his family, celebrating his roots of faith and relationships within the Tabor community.
“I am impressed with Dr. Janzen’s curriculum vitae and look forward to turning over the stewardship of the college to him,” Glanzer says. “Over the years we have connected at various times, been in each other’s home for dinner and I find him to be a person of integrity and deep personal faith.”
Janzen, who is a 1990 graduate of Tabor College in mathematics and computer science, has been a full-time faculty member in his current position since 2006, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. He was promoted to professor in June 2013 and he is also a Faculty Fellow with Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
He was also adjunct faculty in computer science at Westmont College in Montecito, California, from August to December 2020. He previously worked in the software industry with Sprint from 1993-97, then taught at Bethel College from 1997-2006 and the University of Kansas from 1991-93 and 2004-06. He received his master’s of science and doctorate in computer science during his stay in Lawrence, Kansas.
Janzen speaks of God’s faithfulness through his career, citing his excitement that it has led him back to Hillsboro.
“God has led me on a more exciting, purposeful and God-honoring adventure than I could have ever imagined,” Janzen adds.
The newly-named president is also the co-founder of Steadfast Innovation LLC, which created the handwriting note-taking application, Squid for Android and ChromeOS pen-based devices. Squid has over five million downloads, is a Google Play Editor’s Choice and was featured by Google as one of the top eight applications for education. The application led to strategic partnerships across the technology industry, including Microsoft and Google, among others.
Janzen is also a consultant for the San Luis Obispo Small Business Development Center and is the owner, consultant and trainer of Simex. He created the “Java Essentials for Android” course which attracted over 10,000 subscribers. He also served as a consultant to California State University, San Marcos as it created and launched its undergraduate software engineering major.
“It has been a great privilege to work with some really bright, entrepreneurial technology experts over the years,” Janzen says. “I’ve learned how to listen to customers and dream big, seeing how technology can improve the experiences of people.”
Janzen is a native of Independence, Kansas, and Enid, Oklahoma. He and his wife Karen (Isaac) currently reside in Morro Bay, California. Karen attended Tabor College (1986-88) before graduating from Fresno Pacific University (1990) and obtaining a Master of Music in choral conducting from Northern Arizona University (1992). All four of their parents and each of their siblings, four total, also attended Tabor College. Their oldest son Alexander is a recent Bluejay graduate (2017) and is the oldest of four adult children, including June, Simon and Amber.
“We’ve heard from so many immediate and extended family members that are so excited about our Tabor connections,” Janzen says. “Many of them have gone to Tabor and there is a genuine excitement for us taking this role and that is so encouraging to me.”
Previous presidents at Tabor College include: Henry W. Lohrenz (1908-31), Peter C. Hiebert (1932-34), Abraham E. Janzen (1935-42), Peter E. Schellenberg (1942-51), John N.C. Hiebert (1951-53), Leonard J. Franz (interim & full, 1953-54, 1956-62), Wesley J. Prieb (acting 1962-63), Roy Just (1963-80), Vernon Janzen (1980-87), Vernon Wiebe (interim, 1987-88), LeVon Balzer (1988-94), Clarence Hiebert (interim, 1994-95), David Brandt (1995-98), Larry Nikkel (1998-07), Jules Glanzer (2008-present).
Tabor College is the Mennonite Brethren college located in Hillsboro, Kansas. The mission of Tabor College, founded in 1908, is to prepare people for a life of learning, work and service for Christ and his kingdom.