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In Recognition of Dean Braun

May 16, 2018

Dear Members of the Swarthmore Community,

​As you learned earlier today, Liz Braun has decided to resign from her role as Dean of Students at the end of June in order to begin a higher education consulting business. Since Liz joined the Swarthmore community in 2010 as the Dean of Students, she has worked tirelessly to support and advocate for students. Her passion, unwavering commitment, and collaborative spirit are a testament to her dedication to ensuring that all students have the resources to further develop their talents and skills while also providing them with a range of opportunities to build upon and expand the connections between their academic work and the broader world.

There are many tangible examples of Liz’s accomplishments on campus: the expanded and renovated Worth Health and Wellness Center and CAPS, the creation of the Office of Student Engagement, the Center for Innovation and Leadership, the Student Emergency Fund, and the expanded and soon-to-open Hormel-Nguyen Intercultural Center at Sproul Hall. She also helped bring to fruition significant residential improvements that have enhanced students’ experiences, including the Matchbox, Dwell, and the PPR Apartments.

What may be less obvious but no less significant is the spirit in which Liz has consistently approached her work. She generously established new traditions by welcoming students into her home for holidays and other important campus events. Liz has also thoughtfully and sensitively helped guide our community when it has experienced tragic loss. She also relished visiting with alums and others around the country to garner financial support for student resources and experiences. Liz has consistently provided perspective and support to me, for which I am grateful.

Under Liz’s guidance, the Academic Affairs Office and class deans have developed a more intentional case management approach to ensure that students receive the support they need to thrive in and out of the classroom. Thanks to Liz’s innovative approach, the Deans Division is poised to continue to do their good and necessary work in fostering an environment in which all students can thrive, develop, and succeed. 

Well before Liz leaves on June 30, I will appoint an interim dean to succeed her, who will lead the Deans Division until a national search is completed. Details about this appointment and the search process will be shared soon.

In the coming days, you will receive information about a farewell reception to honor Liz’s time at Swarthmore. Please join me in thanking her and wishing her the very best as she and her family embark on this next chapter in their lives.


Valerie Smith