GETTYSBURG, PA – Janet Morgan Riggs ’77 was unanimously appointed 14th president of Gettysburg College by the College’s Board of Trustees at their winter meeting Feb 6. Riggs, who has served as interim president since last March, became president effective immediately.
"We are all very excited to make this appointment," Board Chair James M. Weaver '64 said. "Dr. Riggs has excelled in a number of key administrative appointments, most recently interim president at Gettysburg, and we know that she will move full steam ahead in building campus-wide support for her vision. As an alumna who has also been a
20-year professor and a provost at Gettysburg, she deeply understands the lives of our students and faculty, who are the heart of our academic mission."
In March 2008, the board appointed Riggs to serve as interim president after the resignation of Katherine Haley Will. A national search was conducted for her replacement.
A 15-member Presidential Search Committee (PSC) - chaired by Trustee Bob Duelks and comprised of faculty, alumni, trustees, an administrator and a student - received more than 100 applications for the position. With the assistance of the professional search firm Storbeck-Pimentel, the PSC winnowed the field to 30 candidates, interviewing 12 and carefully reviewing six semi-finalists before making the final selection. Throughout this process the search firm and committee members checked references of the candidates.
A message from President Riggs
"We enjoyed meeting a very impressive slate of candidates," Duelks said. "But at every turn Janet Riggs remained in the top tier. She set herself apart with her passion, commitment and vision for her alma mater. Throughout the process, her understanding of where liberal arts education is headed, her vision for advancement of Gettysburg, her operational insights and her relationship-building skills helped set her apart. In addition, we had the good fortune of actually observing her in the role and enjoyed watching her execute the responsibilities with passion and commitment.
Riggs accepted the appointment with enthusiasm. "It is a great honor and privilege to accept the appointment as 14th president by the College's Board of Trustees, she said. "Since 1981, Gettysburg College and the local community have been my home. I am thrilled to be asked to serve my alma mater in this way," Riggs said.
While Riggs is the first alumna to be named president, three alumni who graduated from Pennsylvania College (now Gettysburg College) in the 19th century also served as president to their alma mater. They were: Milton Valentine, Class of 1850, served from 1868 to 1884; Harvey Washington McKnight, Class of 1865, served from 1884 to 1904; and Samuel Gring Hefelbower, Class of 1891, served from 1904 to 1910.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences. With a student body of approximately 2,500, it is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.Posted: Fri, 6 Feb 2009
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