President of Middlebury College to Lead the American Academy of Religion

The new leader of the American Academy of ReligionLaurie L. Patton, president of Middlebury College, the high-ranking liberal arts institution in Vermont, has been elected vice president of the American Academy of Religion. With more than 9,000 members, the academy is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the critical study of religion. Dr. Patton will serve one year as vice president, one year as president-elect, and then in 2018 will become president of the organization.

Dr. Patton became president of Middlebury College on July 1, 2015. Earlier, she was a professor of religion and dean of the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

From 1996 to 2011, Dr. Patton was the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Religions at Emory University in Atlanta. Earlier, she taught at Bard College in New York. Dr. Patton is the author or editor of nine books including Jewels of Authority: Women and Text in the Hindu Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2002).  She is the past president of the American Society for the Study of Religion.

Professor Patton is a graduate of Harvard University, where she majored in Celtic languages and comparative religion. She holds a master’s degree from Chicago Divinity School and a Ph.D. in the history of religions from the University of Chicago.

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