The Colby-Sawyer community welcomes Susan D. Stuebner, Ed.D., the college's ninth president, as she takes office July 1.
The Colby-Sawyer College Board of Trustees, on the recommendation of a 12-member search committee composed of trustees, alumni, students, faculty and staff led by board chair Peter Volanakis, voted unanimously to approve her appointment as the college's ninth president in February.
President Stuebner cited her dedication to the liberal arts model of education, Colby-Sawyer’s distinctive mission of pairing the liberal arts with professional preparation, and the college’s location in the beautiful small community of New London as the basis for her interest in the presidency.
“I am honored and humbled to be … Colby-Sawyer’s ninth president. Throughout the interview process, it was clear what a special community the institution is. As the college has evolved over the past 179 years, one thing that has remained constant is its commitment to students and the ability to create meaningful relationships,” said President Stuebner. “I look forward to building on the momentum [President Galligan] created and to partnering with the trustees, senior leadership team, faculty, staff, students, alumni and the Town of New London in writing the next chapter of Colby-Sawyer’s rich history.”
“Sue was selected from a pool of more than 100 highly qualified applicants with diverse backgrounds,” said Chair Volanakis. “She rose to the top as a decisive change agent who has a deep understanding of the challenges facing institutions like Colby-Sawyer. Sue also stood out for her strategic, financial and planning acumen as well as her experience and willingness to drive greater philanthropic support. Very importantly, we found her to be authentic and with a sensitivity to the inclusive, collaborative and collegial culture which defines Colby-Sawyer.”
“Sue is a wonderful choice to lead Colby-Sawyer College, with an impressive record of leadership at highly regarded, small private liberal arts colleges,” said Thomas C. Csatari, former chair of the board of trustees and member since 2005. “Her understanding of strategic planning will serve Colby-Sawyer well as the college looks to expand and enhance its mission of preparing students for their professions and lives of continual learning.”
President Stuebner succeeds Thomas C. Galligan Jr., president since 2006. In his ten years of leadership, Colby-Sawyer has doubled its number of academic majors, introduced distance education, diversified its student body, committed to sustainability, improved and expanded facilities, and rededicated itself to making a private education accessible to all students.
“Sue is the right person at the right time to build on the many initiatives launched under Tom Galligan, while bringing her own insights and experiences in the areas of curricular and co-curricular programs, enrollment management and philanthropy,” said Chair Volanakis.
President Stuebner was previously the executive vice president and chief operating officer at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. At Allegheny for three years, she oversaw the vice presidents for development and alumni relations, enrollment, and college relations; the chief financial officer and treasurer; the dean of students; the directors of human resources and athletics; and the Title IX coordinator.
“During her tenure at Allegheny, Sue … made a most powerful difference for the future of our college and earned respect from across the community,” said Allegheny College President James H. Mullen Jr. “While we will miss her a great deal, she is eminently prepared to serve as a president and Colby-Sawyer is very fortunate to have her leadership."
Prior to Allegheny, President Stuebner rose through the ranks at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Penn., to vice president for administration and planning. She has also held posts at Dartmouth College, Wheelock College, Harvard University, Albright College and Carleton College. An active member of the communities she calls home, President Stuebner has served in a variety of board leadership roles, including the NACUBO Small Institutions Council, the NCAA Division III Financial Aid Committee and the Dartmouth College Alumni Council. She is also a member of the National Association for College and University Business Officers and the Society for College and University Planners. President Stuebner earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Dartmouth College, where she was a member of the varsity women’s basketball team for four years and captain for one. She also holds an Ed.M. and an Ed.D from Harvard University in administration, planning and social policy with a concentration in higher education.
A native of Deephaven, Minn., President Stuebner enjoys spending time with her partner, Amanda Wine, and Amanda’s teenage daughter and son; walking with their Labradoodles; sea kayaking; hiking; reading; traveling and cheering for the New England Patriots.