Valerie Smith’s contract as president of Swarthmore College has been extended by five years, extending through 2025.
In a letter today to the campus community, Board Chair Salem Shuchman '84 noted that the extension reflects the Board’s confidence in Smith’s ability to guide the institution as it continues to provide a transformative and exceptional liberal arts experience.
“In 2014–15, I had the pleasure of chairing the search committee that recommended Val to the full Board of Managers,” says Shuchman. “The same qualities we saw in her then—a deep compassion for people, a serious commitment to the quality of a Swarthmore education, a desire to promote the liberal arts generally, and a shared sense of purpose around our values—continue to make Val the right leader for Swarthmore at this important time in our history.”
Since Smith became president in July 2015, she has worked to attract more low-income and first-generation students, supported faculty innovation in the curriculum, overseen increasing diversity of the student body, and strengthened relationships between the College and the region. She has supported sustainability initiatives such as carbon pricing and has led the charge to reimagine numerous spaces on campus—from the recently opened Hormel-Nguyen Intercultural Center and the forthcoming Biology, Engineering, and Psychology building, to the new Sharples renovation that is just now being conceptualized.
“I’m deeply honored by the opportunity to continue to be part of the Swarthmore community,” says Smith. “I draw great inspiration from the passion of our students, our faculty, our staff, and our alumni, and look forward to many more successes in the years ahead.”