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Evangel University VP for Advancement named EU chief of staff

Published on Jan 18, 2022 by Erin Hedlun

Dr. Michael Kolstad

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Dr. Michael Kolstad, Evangel University’s vice president for university advancement, has been named chief of staff by EU President Dr. Mike Rakes. The transition is effective immediately.

“It became clear early on in my tenure at EU that Michael had the executive ability that I needed to help lead highly effective leaders,” Rakes said. “His keen eye for perfection and passion for excellence will help advance my strategic priorities and manage complex, high priority initiatives on campus and in the community.”

Kolstad is a 1988 graduate of Evangel. Following a brief musical career and the pursuit of a master and doctoral degree on the east coast after graduation, he returned to his alma mater in 1991 as a professor in the Music Department. In 2007 he was named Music Department chair. During his tenure in the Music Department, Kolstad was an innovative leader, founding and directing the first EU Jazz and Marching Bands and facilitating significant donations to the university for the benefit of its students.

In 2014, Kolstad transitioned to the role of vice president for university advancement, following the retirement of long-time Advancement Vice President Jim Williams.

He has also led several successful campaigns related to campus upgrades, including the installation of a turf field for football and soccer, the donation of a Steinway “D” grand piano, valued at more than $150,000, and the continued implementation of Evangel’s new mascot, Valor, throughout campus facilities.

In 2020, in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, Kolstad took the helm as chair of the university’s pandemic task force, coordinating mitigation and response measures to keep the Evangel community operational and safe. His collaboration with local city and county officials and area university presidents was a key contributor to the university’s successful navigation through the last 22 months.

Kolstad has received numerous awards, including being named a “40 Under 40” by Springfield Business Journal and the prestigious Orville and Jewel Mills Young Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service from Evangel, and is a member of the SE Springfield Rotary Club and a board member of the local Better Business Bureau chapter. He has been involved in numerous community organizations, including the Springfield Symphony, Springfield Regional Opera, Springfield Little Theater, and Nixa Community Foundation Council.

He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts and a Master of Music from the University of North Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in Education from Evangel.

He and his wife, Paula, also an Evangel grad, have two children and live in Nixa, MO.



About Evangel University

Evangel University, with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally. Evangel and AGTS serve more than 2,200 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 70 undergraduate majors and 19 master and doctoral degrees.