Elbe to retire as JWCC president in December


Mike Elbe makes his announcement Thursday at JWCC. David Adam

QUINCY — John Wood Community College President Michael Elbe will retire from his position on December 31, 2022.

Elbe made the announcement Thursday afternoon on the JWCC Campus.

Elbe was named the sixth president of John Wood Community College on Feb. 19, 2014, and he assumed his new post on April 1, 2014. He had served as the college’s vice president for student services for two years. He succeeded John Letts, who had served as president since January 2012.

Elbe, a native of Camp Point, was one of four finalists who emerged from a nationwide search that drew 45 candidates from 26 states. 

Elbe also previously worked as the director of student life (1999-2002) and assistant dean of students (1998-99) at the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa. He was an academic advisor (1988-90) for the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and served as a resident director (1987-88) for St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C.

In addition to his administrative roles at JWCC, Elbe coached the school’s men’s basketball team for 13 seasons, compiling a 246-165 record. He led two teams to top-seven finishes in the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament.

Elbe was named JWCC’s Professional Staff Member of the Year in 1996 and received the President’s Appreciation Award in 2009.

His first appointment at JWCC was in 1990 when he was hired as the first basketball coach, as well as the director of student life and athletics to build a student life and athletic program at the college.

He has been active professionally and in the community. Elbe has served as the co-chairman of the professional division of the United Way of Adams County annual campaign and recently retired as a member of the United Way board. He served as a team leader for the American Red Cross Heroes Campaign. He was named the recipient of the Joe Bonansinga Community Service Award in 2018. 

Elbe recently was chairman of the board for the Great River Economic Development Foundation when it selected Kyle Moore as its president in 2021.

Elbe and his wife, Gerri, have three children and two grandchildren.


  • 2014-22: Michael Elbe
  • 2012-14: John Letts
  • 2008-11: Thomas Klincar
  • 1997-2008: William Simpson
  • 1988-96: Robert Keys
  • 1975-87: Paul Heath

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