WWU Welcomes New Board Chair
Max Torkelsen accepts NPUC position
By: Becky St. Clair
Max C. Torkelsen II was named chairman of Walla Walla University’s Board of Trustees on November 23, 2008, at his appointment as President of the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He has been serving on the board since 1996, when he was elected president of the Upper Columbia Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
In 1972, Torkelsen completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in theology at Pacific Union College. Following graduation he earned two graduate degrees: a Master of Arts in church administration from Andrews University in 1974, and a Master of Public Health from Loma Linda University in 1975. Since then, Torkelsen has served in Oregon, Hawai’i, Idaho, and Washington.
Some of his particular interests have included encouraging an extensive network of church-owned radio and television stations, facilitating establishment of a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and participation in numerous international mission projects.
A trustee of Walla Walla General Hospital, Torkelsen is also a co-founder of Bibleinfo.com, a global internet ministry now affiliated with It is Written. In addition, he is active in the Spokane community as a trustee of Connoisseur Concerts, an organization dedicated to encouraging appreciation for the great classical music of the world.
Torkelsen and his wife, Linnea, have two adult daughters, both of whom graduated from Walla Walla University.
“Max has a long history of membership on the WWU Board of Trustees and has been a frequent source of sound counsel over the years,” says John McVay, WWU President. “In his sustained participation on the WWU Board of Trustees, Max has actively engaged the issues facing the university. I have detected a special interest in strategic planning – an admirable trait for an incoming board chair.”