Bryan Named Next WWU President

On Monday, May 6, 2024, the Walla Walla University board of trustees unanimously appointed Alex Bryan to become WWU's 24th president.

“We are excited that Bryan accepted our invitation to serve as WWU president,” said John Freedman, North Pacific Union president, who also serves as WWU board of trustees chair. “He has a deep love for and walk with God and His Son, Jesus Christ, which will bless our university students, faculty and staff. He is committed to our Seventh-day Adventist beliefs and mission, and I and our church members across the Pacific Northwest will lift him up in prayer as he takes this responsibility at WWU.”

For 13 years, Bryan served as a pastor in Georgia and Tennessee before joining Walla Walla University Church in College Place, Washington, as senior pastor in 2009. In 2013, he became president of Kettering College in Ohio for one year, and then returned to Walla Walla University Church to serve as senior pastor for another four years.

In 2018, Bryan joined Adventist Health in Roseville, California, where he currently serves as senior vice president and chief mission officer, leading strategy and discourse about ethics, alignment to mission, spiritual care, relationship to faith communities, global mission, theological foundations of healthcare, and also overseeing philanthropy and grants initiatives.

Over the past 16 years, Bryan has served as adjunct professor teaching theology, business, communication and honors studies at numerous Adventist universities. He has served as a member of the North American Division executive committee, Upper Columbia Conference executive committee, Adventist Bioethics Consortium, SonBridge Community Center board, Rogers Adventist School board and Walla Walla Valley Academy board. He currently chairs the Walla Walla Valley Adventist Schools board.

“I am honored to be called to serve such a special place — one that is dedicated to God and to His glory and to His purposes in the world,” Bryan said. “Our family has called College Place home for 15 years, and we’ve been deeply blessed by the peerless mission of WWU and its people. I believe the Christ-centered university is the hope of the world, and we are excited to contribute to this bold venture.”

Bryan preaches to a group.

“I am honored to be called to serve such a special place — one that is dedicated to God and to His glory and to His purposes in the world,” Bryan said about his new role as WWU president.

Bryan earned bachelor of arts degrees in history and religion from Southern Adventist University, a master of divinity degree from Andrews University, a doctor of ministry degree from George Fox University and a master of science degree in bioethics from Albany Medical College.

His wife, Nicole, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from WWU, and, as a student, served as president of the Associated Students of Walla Walla University. She holds a master’s degree in education from Georgia State University and works in the health and physical education department at WWU. They have two children.

Bryan will replace John McVay, who is retiring after serving as WWU president for 18 years.


The Bryan family serving on an Adventist mission trip to Kenya.

Featured in: July/August 2024