Karen Lawrence Appointed President of the Huntington Library in California

Karen LawrenceKaren Lawrence, who served as president of Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York, for 10 years, has been named president of The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. The Huntington holds world-class collections of rare books, manuscripts, and related materials, European and American art, and administers 120 acres of botanical gardens, and hosts vibrant programs of research and education. The institution hosts more than 750,000 visitors a year and welcomes more than 1,700 scholars annually to conduct advanced research in the humanities. Some 20,000 school children visit the facility each year.

In accepting the appointment, Dr. Lawrence stated “the Huntington represents so much of what I hold as core values — a humanistic approach that emphasizes curiosity, empathy, and aesthetic appreciation. I am thrilled by this extraordinary opportunity, especially given the challenges facing the arts and humanities and the extent to which The Huntington contributes to knowledge making and the exchange of ideas, public enrichment, cultural analysis and a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.”

Before becoming president at Sarah Lawrence College in 2007, Dr. Lawrence was dean of the School of Humanities and a professor of English at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of The Odyssey of Style in Ulysses (Princeton University Press, 2016) and Who’s Afraid of James Joyce? (University Press of Florida, 2010). Recently, Dr. Lawrence was named to the board of the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Dr. Lawrence is a graduate of Yale University, where she majored in English. She holds a master’s degree from Tufts University in Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York City.

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