COW president leaving at end of school year

COW president leaving at end of school year

Image Credit: College of Wooster

It was announced on Jan. 11 that The College of WoosterPresident Sarah Bolton has been named the next president of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Bolton will assume the role on July 18 and will remain in her role at Wooster through the current academic year.

Bolton joined Wooster in 2016 and is the first woman and first physicist to serve in the permanent role of president.

“Serving as Wooster’s president has been a tremendous joy and privilege. I will always deeply admire this extraordinary community — its people, its values, its leadership in teaching and learning, and its vision for the future,” Bolton said. “I am profoundly grateful for all the ways that Wooster’s students, staff, faculty, board and alumni have come together to make our college an even brighter beacon for learning over the past 5 1/2 years.

“The challenges and opportunities at Whitman appealed to me in part because of the deeply held values that Whitman and Wooster share,” Bolton said. “Like Wooster, Whitman’s community is brilliant, kind and determined to make a positive impact in the world through teaching, learning and action.”

As president, Bolton worked to build on Wooster’s history of academic excellence by expanding experiential-learning opportunities, supporting strategic new academic pathways and connections, and cultivating a more global and anti-racist community and curriculum.

Under her leadership Wooster has grown to be the most international campus in Ohio, 16th in the U.S. for percentage of international students and among the most diverse. Currently, international students make up 17% of Wooster’s total enrollment and hail from 68 countries. U.S. students of color account for 24% of the student body.

Under Bolton’s leadership Wooster’s endowment performance has soared, growing from $263 million to more than $431 million. Wooster added a total of three new endowed professorships; 38 new endowed funds to support the library, student academic and career advising, experiential learning, academic departments, student and faculty research, and academic support; five new current use funds; and 81 new endowed scholarships.

The $40 million Lowry Center transformation project — perhaps the most visible component of the Connect, Create, Discover strategic plan — is on track to be completed by early January 2023, prior to the start of spring semester.

“By the end of the academic year, Sarah will have led the college through six highly successful years, the last three of which have been touched by the unimaginably difficult management complications wrought by COVID-19,” said Sally Staley, chair of Wooster’s board of trustees. “Through the emergency requirements of a pandemic layered onto the ongoing management of academic programs, faculty, staff and the entire campus community, Sarah has steadily led our college with wisdom and inspiration, science and compassion, and an abundance of good humor.”

According to Staley, Wooster will immediately begin the process of identifying an interim president to lead the college through the 2022-23 academic year and will plan for a formal search for a permanent president.