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Hobart and William Smith Colleges name Jacobsen first woman president

By Eric Reinhardt

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Hobart and William Smith Colleges on Friday announced Joyce Jacobsen as the schools’ first female president. Jacobsen, who currently serves as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, will begin her duties as president on July 1. (Photo credit: Hobart and William Smith Colleges website)

GENEVA, N.Y. — The Hobart and William Smith Colleges board of trustees has named Joyce Jacobsen as the schools’ first woman president.

Jacobsen is the 29th president of Hobart College and the 18th president of William Smith College, the colleges said in a Friday news release. She begins her presidency on July 1.

Jacobsen currently serves as provost and senior VP for academic affairs at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

Jacobsen will succeed Patrick McGuire, who has been serving as interim president following the resignation of former president Gregory Vincent.

“President Jacobsen is a prominent scholar and an esteemed educator with a deep understanding of the interdisciplinary inquiry so vital to our mission here at Hobart and William Smith,” Thomas Bozzuto, chair of the board of trustees, said in the release. “In her work with students and colleagues in the academy, and with preeminent national and international organizations, she has distinguished herself as a remarkable leader with the experience, values and vision to pilot the colleges to new heights.”

Hobart and William Smith Colleges describe Jacobsen as a “renowned scholar of economics, an award-winning teacher and an experienced administrator.” She has degrees from Harvard University, the London School of Economics, and Stanford University, and more than three decades of experience taking on “increasingly complex roles” in higher education. The presidential search committee gave Jacobsen a “unanimous recommendation.”

“I am struck by the scope of Hobart and William Smith’s impact in Geneva and around the globe, and am looking forward to working with a community so clearly invested in questions, ideas and actions that make the world a better, brighter place,” Jacobsen said in the release.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

Headshot photo credit: Wesleyan University website

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