Rob Denson marks 10th year as DMACC president

robdenson08_1By Alex Payne.

November 1, 2013 will mark President Rob Denson’s tenth anniversary here at DMACC.

Denson was appointed as the fourth president of Des Moines Area Community College after a long search to find a replacement following former President David English’s arrest for growing marijuana in his home.

Many students and staff at DMACC have probably heard of Denson but have never really met him.

Denson was born and raised in Iowa, making him the college’s first Iowa-born president.

He grew up on a farm near Homestead, Iowa, south of the Amana Colonies. On the farm he worked milking cows along with taking care of the family’s chicken, pigs, sheep and goats. Growing up, Denson was a part of his local chapters of 4-H and FFA.

Denson attended a one-room schoolhouse and recalls carrying buckets of water with his brothers to the schoolhouse. He also remembers the school’s outhouse.

Denson was the only one in his class. The entire school had eight grades and 12 students total.

In 1966 Denson enrolled at Iowa State University to become a veterinarian. Due to the difficulty of the math and chemistry courses, Denson changed majors to political science.

Denson graduated from Iowa State with a Bachelor’s of Science in political science and economics, and in 1972 received his Master’s degree in higher education administration.

During his time at Iowa State he became very involved in student organizations.

Denson created the Iowa State Volunteer Center at the college and has a membership card recognizing him as the first member.

He was also very involved in VEISHEA, Campus Chest and was president of his fraternity, Alpha Kappa Lambda. Denson was also very involved in other smaller organizations.

Denson believes that volunteerism is very important.

He stayed at Iowa State and served as a dean until he moved to the University of Florida in 1974 to serve as the Dean of Leadership.

In 1979, he attended law school and became the associate university attorney at the University of Florida.

Denson then moved on to work for a local law firm for a year before joining a partnership.

After that he went into private practice for 16 years. In 1996 Denson would retire after a very successful carrier in law, including serving on the Florida board of law.

After retiring Denson became the assistant to the president at Santa Fe Community College for two years.

Denson moved his family back to Iowa when he became president of Northeast Iowa Community College. He served in this position for five and a half years.

Moving back to Iowa Denson was able to spend time with his father and in-laws before their deaths.

When Denson came to DMACC in 2003 he was very excited.

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