J. Richard Chase (Ph.D., Cornell University) came to Wheaton College in 1982 after serving twelve years as president of Biola. He reinforced Wheaton's commitment to its biblical foundations and oversaw a period of significant growth relating to endowment, buildings, and academic programs. He continually endeavored to attract to the College gifted students who could profit from its rigorous academic objectives and religious underpinnings, and he dedicated much of his eleven-year term to furnishing and providing funding for the administrative structures and procedures that would make the achievement of that goal possible. The College, higher education in general, and numerous national, state, and local organizations benefited from Chase's visionary leadership.
Interestingly, Salmon P. Chase, an early trustee of Wheaton College and noted Civil War-era leader, was the great-great-uncle of J. Richard Chase.