Pat Jackson Lecture and Dinner
Presentation of the 2012 Advocate for Higher Education Award
Composing the Future: How Colleges and Universities Can Help Transform the World
Hear from a distinguished college president who integrates public relations in her leadership and who values the role of senior communicators in advancing behavioral change for a greater good.
Rebecca Chopp, president of Swarthmore College
Rebecca Chopp is President of Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pa. Since joining Swarthmore in 2009, she has focused on the college’s role in cultivating a global intellectual community that will create leaders in every field. In her first year, she oversaw a financial restructuring that, without layoffs or cuts to core academic programs, resulted in a sustainable five-year budget plan. Most recently she has led a strategic direction setting exercise for the college that will lay a firm foundation for the college’s future as a progressive leader in liberal arts education.
Chopp is a well-known scholar of progressive religious movements in American culture and has recently focused her research on changing structures and cultures of higher education, on the role of liberal arts in a democratic society, and on religion and higher education. A prolific communicator, she has authored or edited five books and has published more than 50 articles.
Prior to Swarthmore, Chopp served as president of Colgate University, where she led a comprehensive strategic plan that greatly expanded the university’s academic space, strengthened academic programs and developed new interdisciplinary centers, implemented a new vision for residential education, and expanded university-community partnerships. Chopp has also served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory University.
Chopp has served on the governing boards of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the National Survey of Student Engagement and has served on the executive committee of the Annapolis Group and the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for Teaching. Chopp has also served as president of the American Academy of Religion.
A native of Kansas, Chopp received a B.A. from Kansas Wesleyan University, an M.Div. from St. Paul School of Theology, and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Each of her alma maters has honored her with distinguished awards, and she has received four honorary doctorates from other colleges and universities.
Chopp, 59, is married to Frederick Thibodeau. They have three sons.
Session is sposnored by: