Raised in Carroll, Iowa, where he was born in 1944, Dr. Thomas Feld was awarded his Bachelors degree in political science from Loras College (Dubuque, Iowa) in 1966. He completed a Masters degree in speech from Northern Illinois University and a Doctorate in communication from Purdue University. After serving as vice president at Lea College (1972), Feld moved to Fayette, Missouri to become vice president of Central Methodist College, eventually serving as acting president in 1976. Feld was heartily approved as Mount Mercy College’s first lay president and inaugurated on Sunday, December 4, 1977. At the age of 32, Feld was the youngest college president in the United States.
Under Feld’s guidance, Mount Mercy expanded its curriculum, developed an admired continuing education program, and became fiscally strong, quadrupling the campus endowment. Successful capital campaigns provided a massive renovation and re-roofing for Warde Hall (1977-1981), new facilities for the chemistry department, the construction of Hennessey Recreation Center (1985), the redesigned Sacred Heart Convent and new Busse Center (1993), and the opening of a student union, Lundy Commons (1995).
Feld’s leadership style also promoted athletics on the campus, enhanced the college’s national reputation, and cultivated goodwill in the greater Cedar Rapids community by making business and civic connections. Beloved for his influential role in the campus’ history, Dr. Thomas Feld retired from Mount Mercy after twenty-two years of service, ending his tenure on June 30, 1999.