Anita Olson Gustafson Is the First Woman President of Presbyterian College in South Carolina

Anita Olson Gustafson is the new president of Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. She is the twentieth person and the first woman to hold the office in the college’s history, dating back to 1880.

Presbyterian College enrolls about 1,200 students. Women make up 52 percent of the student body, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Gustafson was the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a professor of history at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. Professor Gustafson’s teaching and scholarly interests include American immigration history, Swedish immigration, and the history of American women. She taught history at Presbyterian College from 1997 to 2016. Dr. Gustafson is the author of Swedish Chicago: The Shaping of an Immigrant Community, 1880–1920 (Northern Illinois University Press, 2018).

“I am excited and honored to be returning to Presbyterian College as its next president,” Dr. Gustafson said. “PC is a special place, and I am eager to connect with faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. I look forward to working with the entire PC community to implement the strategic plan and continue to move the college forward.”

Dr. Gustafson holds a bachelor’s degree with majors in economics and Swedish and a minor in history from North Park University in Chicago. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

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