About President Hannigan

Robyn E. Hannigan, a globally recognized environmental scientist and thought leader, was appointed the 19th president of Ursinus College by the Ursinus Board of Trustees. She began her presidency on July 1, 2022.

original for press releaseRobyn distinguishes herself by articulating a vision for the liberal arts that is grounded in the public good. She speaks eloquently about how colleges like Ursinus—institutions fully committed to undergraduate, residential education—uniquely prepare students to become problem-solvers who view today’s greatest issues through a cross-disciplinary lens.

She reflects the very best of our own mission—a curious and lifelong learner whose own unique lived experience as a first-generation student and descendant of the Narragansett Indian Tribe has resulted in an unwavering commitment to access and opportunity for every student.

An accomplished researcher with four patents, Robyn founded two separate start-ups improving technological and diagnostical processes. She was provost of Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.; was the founding dean of the School for the Environment at the University of Massachusetts Boston; a policy officer at the National Science Foundation, and a professor at Arkansas State University. She is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles; is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Chemical Society’s Camile and Henry Dreyfus Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences; and is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. A graduate of The College of New Jersey, Hannigan holds a master’s degree from SUNY Buffalo, and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Rochester.

Though these professional achievements are noteworthy for transforming her field of work, Robyn speaks about how these opportunities opened greater doors for her students, resulting in meaningful partnerships and friendships that have grown over time. Her willingness to engage with every student, providing untraditional avenues for growth and potential, will propel Ursinus forward at a time when society is seeking out our most creative and inventive problem solvers.

We invite you to watch a short introductory video from Robyn and read more about her path to Ursinus

Robyn travels to Collegeville with her husband, Alan Christian, Ph.D., her 11-year-old daughter, Cami, and their three dogs (Skippy, Freyja, and Astro). Alan is an aquatic ecologist and serves as the associate director of the Honors Program at Clarkson University. Cami is an avid equestrian who loves math, as well as cooking and creating art. They’re a wonderful addition to the Ursinus family.

President’s Office News

Wicked Excited: A First-Gen Student’s Journey to a College Presidency

Robyn E. Hannigan takes the helm as Ursinus College’s 19th president during a time when the success of every student—backed by a brand-new strategic plan—is front and center. It’s something that personally resonates with Hannigan, whose career path can be defined by one word: opportunity.

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