Whittier College News Release

For Immediate Release - July 1, 1999
Media Contact
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The Whittier College Board of Trustees has announced the selection of Katherine Haley Will, currently provost and professor of English at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, as Whittier's 13th president. She will assume the presidency on July 1, 1999.

As provost at Kenyon, Will serves as leader of the college's faculty, with responsibilities for the academic program and curriculum, as well as hiring and evaluating faculty members, and serving in the college president's place in his absence. Among Will's accomplishments have been directing Kenyon College's first comprehensive curriculum review in 25 years, reorganizing the college's academic administration, initiating faculty support programs including junior research sabbaticals for young faculty and faculty/scholar awards for excellence, and administering grants totaling more than $3 million. Will has also been active in efforts related to Kenyon's current $100-million capital campaign.

"We had an extraordinarily strong pool of applicants from whom to choose," said college trustee Charlotte D. Graham, who chaired the Selection Committee. "We know that we have chosen an exceptional president for Whittier College and look forward to her leading us into the next century."

"Dr. Will's academic leadership experience, her fund-raising skills, and her demonstrated commitment to liberal arts education will all be important assets to Whittier College as we enter the next phase of our history," said Anthony R. Pierno, chairman of the Whittier College Board of Trustees. "We are extremely pleased that she will be Whittier's 13th president."

Before going to Kenyon in 1996, Will was associate academic dean at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., where she was also an associate professor of English and served as faculty director of the college's First Year Seminar Program. She studied at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., earned a bachelor's degree in English from Tufts University, and earned master's and doctoral degrees in English from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana.

Will, who will be the first woman to lead Whittier College in its 112-year history, takes over from James L. Ash, Jr., who announced last September that he would step down at the end of this academic year, after 10 years as president. Whittier College is currently in the third year of its five-year, $70-million capital campaign, "Endowing the Tradition," which has raised $55 million.

Will is married to Oscar Henry Will III, who holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Chicago. He is former chairman of the department of biology at Augustana College and currently holds the post of director of information access at Kenyon College. The Wills have four daughters.

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts. Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association, is located on a separate campus in Costa Mesa.

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