William R. Haden returned to Portland after retiring on June 30, 2006, from his appointment as the 17th President of West Virginia Wesleyan College since February 1995 making him the second-longest serving president in the College’s history. Born in Beckley, West Virginia in 1942, Haden grew up in Morgantown, graduating from West Virginia University in 1964 with a B.A. in Political Science. He received his Masters Degree in Government from George Washington University in 1965. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Charleston in December 1999.
Following graduate school, Haden served in the U.S. Army as a Military Intelligence officer; he served in Portland, and left the Army as a First Lieutenant. In 1967, Haden returned to West Virginia to begin his career in educational fund raising and higher education administration. His background includes positions in Development, Alumni Relations and Public Affairs at W.V.U., the University of Rochester, The University of Chicago and Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He was also acting president of Reed in the early 1990’s. Haden’s career included senior staff and leadership positions with nine major capital fund raising campaigns at the institutions listed above.
Haden's work in Rochester, Chicago, Portland and West Virginia involved extensive foreign travel, and he brought to all institutions a strong commitment to expanding opportunities for faculty and student international experiences, particularly in Asia.
Haden was a founding member of the West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship Program Board of Control. He served as a Trustee of the Methodist Theological School in Ohio from 2000-2006, and served as a member of The United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) from 2000-2008. He served on the Board of Directors of Africa University in Zimbabwe from 2009-2012. He is also serving as a Trustee of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. He is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the First United Methodist Church in Portland. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the United Methodist Foundation of the Northwest.
In July 2007, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. In October 2006, Haden was elected to the Board of Directors of Chamber Music Northwest (CMNW); his service ended in October, 2012. Since 2011, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette.