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Dramatist, historian and newspaper commentator, Jack R. Van Ens serves as Executive Director of Creative Growth Inc. (www.thelivinghistory.com). He makes history come alive, portraying Thomas Jefferson and the colonial preacher Jonathan Edwards in period costume.
Since 1976, Van Ens has portrayed these pivotal leaders for schools, religious organizations, libraries, and public service groups. The Colorado Humanities sponsors him on the Chautauqua circuit.
Having earned two Masters Degrees (one in colonial history) and a Doctorate in Communications from Princeton Theological Seminary, Van Ens has twice been invited as a Visiting Scholar at the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello.
His book, “How Jefferson Made the Best of Bad Messes,” was published in 2000.
Since 1974, Van Ens has written commentary for newspapers such as the Denver Post Hub editions and the Vail Daily in which he interprets what’s happening at the intersection of politics and religion.
For almost three decades, he has coordinated the Jefferson County (CO) Good News Breakfast, bringing together 500+ community leaders to celebrate civic virtue. At its start Van Ens joined the Colorado Civic Canopy’s Board of Directors, a statewide “network of networks” fostering civic engagement.
Denver suburb Wheat Ridge elected Chamber of Commerce president Van Ens their “Man of the Year” for building bridges and knocking down barriers so that this community thrives.
He is married to Sandra, a retired educator. They have three grown children and two grandsons.