Welcomed in 2001 as its eighth president, Daniel J. Elsener has devoted himself to transforming what was then Marian College into the dynamic and celebrated Marian University we all know today. As president, Elsener has been committed to growing Marian University in both scope and magnitude, all with a cultivation of the deeper purposes of Catholic higher education. While pursuing this growth, he has brought renewed emphasis to Marian University’s distinct mission to be a great Catholic university dedicated to providing students with excellent learning, teaching, and research in the Franciscan and liberal arts tradition. He has accomplished this by remaining firmly rooted in the values of the Sisters of St. Francis, the pioneering women who founded the college; These values are omnipresent among Marian University students and stakeholders alike – dignity of the individual, peace and justice, reconciliation, and responsible stewardship.
Prior to serving at Marian University, Elsener served as a teacher; high school principal; superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Wichita in Kansas; Secretary/Executive Director for Stewardship and Development and Secretary/Executive Director, Office of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis; and just prior to Marian as Executive Director of the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation and Project E Indiana.
President Elsener holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Nebraska Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Nebraska, further graduate studies at Wichita State University, Kansas State University as well as an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University. He is an active member of the Indiana Chamber and involved in several other organizations associated with Catholic colleges and universities. When called upon, he proudly serves as a consultant and/or speaker on a variety of topics, such as excellence in education, leadership development, stewardship, and institutional advancement.
When the Indianapolis Business Journal published its “Who's Who” in Health Care and Education in 2011, President Elsener was the only person to be named on both lists. In addition to this, he has received awards from the St. Thomas More Society (2012), the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Indiana (2013), Sagamore of the Wabash (2011 and 2015), Thomas W. Moses Good Scout Award (2017), Junior Achievement of Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame Laureate (2018), Teachers’ Treasures Caring Spirit Award (2019), IBJ’s Indiana 250 Award (2022 & 2023), Indiana Chamber Workforce Development inaugural Leader of the Year Award (2022), and numerous others.
Dan and Beth Elsener have been united in their efforts to champion education as a vital component for advancing the dignity of each person throughout their 47 years of marriage. The Elsener family is centered on faith, love and service to others, and Dan and Beth strive to include their family of 9 children, along with their children’s spouses, and 35 grandchildren in their important educational efforts.
As a couple they have been recognized by several organizations for their efforts behind the growth and positive change within the education landscape of Indiana. In 2014 Elseners received the St. John XXIII Spirit of Service Award from Roncalli High School and were chosen as the Community Service honorees for the 19th annual Celebrating Catholic School Values: Scholarship and Career Achievement Awards event, and in 2019 they were named Indiana Living Legends by the Indiana Historical Society.
© 2021 Marian University
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
*Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.
Students may make a complaint to the Indiana Commission of Higher Education.
Marian University is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana.
Submit a Marketing Request
Website built with