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Dr. Joyce P. Jacobsen named president of HWS

Hobart and William Smith Colleges Board of Trustees has unanimously and enthusiastically elected Joyce P. Jacobsen as the 29th President of Hobart College and the 18th of William Smith College.

Currently serving as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wesleyan University, Jacobsen is a renowned scholar of economics, an award-winning teacher and an experienced administrator. With degrees from Harvard, The London School of Economics and Stanford University, and with more than three decades of experience taking on increasingly complex roles in higher education, Jacobsen received the unanimous recommendation of the Presidential Search Committee. She is the first woman to serve as president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

“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,” says Chair of the Board of Trustees Thomas S. Bozzuto ’68, L.H.D. ’18. “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.”

“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,” says Jacobsen. “The Colleges have deservedly earned a reputation for trailblazing academic programs led by a talented faculty and staff; a remarkably engaged pool of alumni and alumnae; and students of deep curiosity and creativity. I couldn’t be more excited to join this vibrant community.”

Described by her colleagues as an authentic scholar and a person of deep character, Jacobsen has broad responsibility at Wesleyan where she oversees the entire academic enterprise, including athletics, institutional research, and community partnerships. At Wesleyan, she has been a thoughtful contributor to student affairs and equity and inclusion, while also helping to create fundraising and stewardship plans and collaborating on admissions and enrollment strategies. With a deep understanding of the complexities of higher education infrastructure and finances, Jacobsen is involved in planning the University’s budget, including supervision of a considerable annual portfolio.

“Joyce Jacobsen has made myriad contributions to Wesleyan University as a teacher, scholar, colleague, faculty leader and, for the last several years, as Provost,” says President of Wesleyan University Michael S. Roth. “Our university has benefitted immeasurably from her many years of innovative thinking and caring practice, and I have every confidence that she will bring these qualities to her new position as president of Hobart and William Smith. We will miss her.”