A Great Danish American Birthday - Dr. C.C. Madsen

  • February 13, 2022
  • February 13, 2023
  • 2 sessions
  • February 13, 2022 (CST)
  • February 13, 2023 (CST)


Charles Clifford Madsen (February 13, 1908 - January 21, 1991) was the 12th President of Dana College serving from 1956 - 1971.  He was born in Luck, Wisconsin, the grandson of Danish Immigrants. (Photo from the Danish American Archive and Library - Blair, Nebraska)

Madsen attended elementary and high school in Luck, WI before attending Dana College for three years, and then completing his B.A. studies at the University of Minnesota where he graduated in 1931.  He then studied theology at Trinity Seminary for three years, and received a Doctor of Theology degree from Central Baptist Seminary.  In 1934 he married Esther Johnson of Plainview, Nebraska.

Madsen served four years as Chaplain with the Navy and Marine Corps in the South Pacific during WWII.  After the war, he became Chairman of the Dana College Theology Department where he served for ten years before becoming Dana President.

Dana College experienced it most dramatic growth during Madsen's time as President.  During his tenure, Dana received full accreditation from the North Central Association, the campus grounds expanded from 15 to over 200 acres, enrollment tripled, and seven new buildings were added to the campus.

Photo: Dana Campus c1965  (Blair Historic Preservation Alliance) 

In 1961 Madsen was Knighted by King Frederick IX of Denmark, receiving the Order of Dannebrog.  Madsen received the Cross of the Knight Order from Earl Jensen, Royal Danish Vice Consul of Omaha at ceremonies on the Dana Campus.  Madsen received a citation from the King which read, "His Majesty, the King of Denmark, has graciously appointed the President of Dana College, Blair, Nebraska, Dr. Charles Clifford Madsen, Knight of the Order of Dannebrog in recognition of the valuable contribution to the strengthening of Danish American cultural relations rendered by him."

Madsen retired from the Dana Presidency in 1971 and died on January 21, 1991. - The Danish American Archive and Library, Blair, NE

Photo: Dana College "Old Main" (Destroyed by fire in 1988)

National Foundation for Danish America
PO Box 1003
Wilmette, Illinois 60091

Contact Us

Log in
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software