Lafayette College Names Its First Woman President

Alison-R.-Byerly1-150x150Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, has announced that Alison R. Byerly will become the 17th president of the highly rated liberal arts college. Dr. Byerly is the first woman to be named president in Lafayette’s 187 year history. She will replace Daniel H. Weiss who is leaving to become president of Haverford College.

Dr. Byerly currently serves as provost and executive vice president at Middlebury College in Vermont. She has served in that role since 2007 and has been a member of the Middlebury faculty since 1989. Dr. Byerly is the author of Are We There Yet? Virtual Travel and Victorian Realism (University of Michigan Press, 2012) and Realism, Representation, and the Arts in Nineteenth-Century Literature (Cambridge University Press, 1997).

Byerly said, “I am greatly honored to be chosen as Lafayette’s 17th president and excited by the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and ambitious institution. As an undergraduate college that encompasses both the traditional liberal arts and a strong engineering program, Lafayette provides an extraordinary range and depth of opportunities to students, yet it remains deeply committed to the highly individualized, one-on-one mentoring that is the hallmark of the residential liberal arts college.”

“At a time when many liberal arts colleges are looking for ways to extend their reach further into the world of technology and to connect the traditional liberal arts disciplines with opportunities to pursue more project-based, hands-on modes of inquiry, Lafayette is well positioned to lead in these initiatives,” she continued.

Dr. Byerly is a native of Glenside, Pennsylvania. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College, where she majored in English. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania.

Here is a video of Dr. Byerly discussing her plans for her first year on the job.

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