Perpetuating A Penn Pattern of Preparing Presidents

Penn has long been a launching pad for higher education's future presidents. Mr. Schutt is the latest in a long line of Penn faculty, deans, provosts and administrators who left the University to go on to serve as the head of a college or university. He joins the ranks of a growing roster of presidents who spent formative years here--a list which informally totals nearly three dozen from the past few decades.

Some of those who preceded him include four former provosts: Dr. Stanley Chodorow who headed the California Virtual University (an Internet-based venture); Dr. Michael Aiken who became chancellor of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Thomas Ehrlich who became president of Indiana University; and Dr. Vartan Gregorian who became president of Brown.

Former deputy dean at Wharton Dr. Janice Bellace was named the first president of Singapore Management University in 1999, accepting the post for a two-year term while retaining her tenure status here during a leave of absence from teaching.

Former dean of SAS Dr. Hugo Sonnenschein went to the University of Chicago after a stint as provost at Princeton. Emeritus Dean of the Dental School Dr. D. Walter Cohen became president of Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Penn faculty from a range of disciplines also took on presidencies, including: Penn Nobelist Dr. Baruch Blumberg, from medicine, who became master of Bailliol College, Oxford; Dr. Neil Grabois, from mathematics, headed Colgate University; Dr. Arthur Green, from religious thought, presided at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote; Dr. Claire Gaudiani, former acting associate director of the Lauder Institute and a fellow in Romance languages, went from Penn to become president of Connecticut College.

Dr. Jon Strauss, former vice president for finance and Master of Stouffer House, became president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute; senior vice president Rick Nahm left Penn to become president of Knox College in Illinois. Dr. Robert F. Duvall was a development officer who went to Oregon to head Pacific University; George Kidd, Jr., who headed auxiliary services became president of Tiffin University in Ohio.

Martin Meyerson protégés who went on to presidencies of their own include former Law School Dean James O. Freedman who headed the University of Iowa and then Dartmouth; former vice president for administration Dr. Bruce Johnstone, who founded Higher Education Finance Research Institute here left Penn to become president of SUNY College at Buffalo and then chancellor of the 31-institution SUNY; former vice provost for research Dr. Donald N. Langenberg became chancellor of the University of Illinois at Chicago and then chancellor of the University of Maryland; former Stouffer House Master and vice-provost of Undergraduate Studies Dr. Humphrey Tonkin became president of Potsdam College of SUNY and then University of Hartford's president.

Others from that era include Dr. Alice Emerson who had been acting vice provost for student life at Penn and went to Massachusetts to head Wheaton College; Dr. Irvin McPhail headed Lemoyne-Owen College; Dr. Donald Stewart went to Spelman College, and Dr. Thomas Schutte, who has headed the Philadelphia College of Art, Rhode Island School of Design and is now president at Pratt Institute.

From the Harnwell era, the late Dr. Detlev Bronk was president of Rockefeller University; Dr. John (Jack) Howard, former Penn business officer and political science lecturer, presided over Lewis and Clark University in Oregon; and Dr. Richard Stine served as president of Monmouth College in Illinois.

Dr. Henry S. Oberly headed Roanoke College; Dr. Merle M. Odgers, led Bucknell University and Dr. Richard J. Stonesifer, Monmouth College, New Jersey.

Dr. Lewis (Bill) Bleumle, a pre-Harnwell appointee from PennMed took a presidency at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Claude Welch, who founded what became Penn's department of religious thought, then headed the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.

For additional Penn-made presidents, see Almanac, February 20, 2001 and February 27, 2001.


Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 22, February 13, 2001