Colby-Sawyer College President Susan D. Stuebner to Step Down

Colby-Sawyer College President, Professor of Business and Social Sciences and Volanakis Family Presidential Chair Susan D. Stuebner announced today that she will step down on June 30, 2024, after eight years in office.

Stuebner, who assumed the presidency in July 2016 following the unanimous appointment of the Colby-Sawyer Board of Trustees, will become the 21st president of Marietta College, a private, liberal arts institution in Marietta, Ohio.

“It has been a true privilege to serve as president of Colby-Sawyer,” Stuebner said. “A strong sense of community has been part of the fabric of this institution for decades, and I enjoyed the opportunity to build meaningful relationships. Colby-Sawyer offers a transformative educational experience thanks to the deeply dedicated faculty and staff and our engaged and talented students. I thank the trustees for their faith in me and for their strategic leadership during our work together. I am excited for the next step in my professional path, and I will always treasure my time at Colby-Sawyer.”

As Colby-Sawyer’s ninth president, Stuebner provided leadership that positioned the college to respond to a challenging landscape in higher education. During her tenure, Colby-Sawyer strengthened its offerings in nursing and health sciences, established a formal partnership with Dartmouth Health and increased the college’s graduate and professional studies programs from one to 11, with a total enrollment exceeding 250 students.

Stuebner saw great success as a fundraiser for the institution. Under her leadership, the college’s endowment doubled, growing from $36 million in 2016 to $72 million in March 2024. Colby-Sawyer also achieved two of its highest fundraising years in its history, each totaling more than $20 million. In addition, the college generated $19 million in donations to fully fund the construction of its newest building, the Janet Udall Schaefer ’52 Center for Health Sciences, a state-of-the-art facility slated to open in the fall.

Stuebner also led the institution through a tuition reset, lowering the college’s listed tuition price by 60 percent to increase accessibility and transparency for prospective students and families. This innovative restructuring of the college’s tuition and financial aid offerings garnered national media attention, with Colby-Sawyer the focus of interviews by The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other outlets.

“Sue has led the college through a tumultuous time in higher education,” Chair of the Colby-Sawyer Board of Trustees Lisa Hogarty ’81 said. “Nothing more exemplifies her leadership skills than how she deftly navigated the institution through a global pandemic. She worked closely with the board, senior administrators, and the faculty to build a strategic plan for the college that we continue to execute. She has also been a prolific fundraiser, exceeding target after target, including her efforts to double the endowment during her tenure. On behalf of the trustees, I extend my sincerest gratitude to Sue for her leadership as president. We will miss her dearly and wish her continued success in this next stage of her journey.”

Stuebner’s professional passion has long focused on the sustainability of regional, private colleges. Prior to joining Colby-Sawyer, she served as executive vice president for Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, following a 10-year tenure as vice president for administration and planning at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Hogarty and the Colby-Sawyer College Board of Trustees will meet this week for their regularly scheduled May meetings and will develop a process for a national search for the college’s next president. The board will also discuss plans to name an interim president for the 2024-25 academic year and will announce that appointment shortly.