Ursinus College Names Robyn E. Hannigan 19th President

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COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. (March 4, 2022) — Robyn E. Hannigan, a globally recognized environmental scientist and thought leader who is currently the provost at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., has been appointed the 19th president of Ursinus College by the Ursinus Board of Trustees. She will begin on July 1, 2022.

Hannigan’s academic career has been defined by an unwavering commitment to expanding opportunity and fostering new knowledge for the common good. She is a prolific author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, owns four patents for advanced medical application technologies, and has leveraged her prowess for invention and innovation to create two start-up companies founded in partnership with students.

“Robyn believes in the essential and transformative power of higher education, especially at this particular moment in time,” says Nina Stryker ’78, chair of the college’s Board of Trustees. “She is a student-focused leader who understands that residential, liberal arts institutions like Ursinus are best suited to help students view solutions through a multi-disciplinary lens.”

Hannigan 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. Since 2019, Hannigan has served as provost of Clarkson University, a national research university and a leader in technical education through integrated curricular and co-curricular learning. Prior to her role at Clarkson, she was the founding dean of the School for the Environment at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She previously served as a program officer at the National Science Foundation and was a professor at Arkansas State University.

Throughout her career, Hannigan says she has balanced innovation with opportunity.

“The promise of an undergraduate education needs to be accessible and open to all,” says Hannigan, herself a first-generation undergraduate student of mixed heritage and Native American descent. “I certainly appreciate the process of change-making, having the opportunity to think differently, to experiment when it is combined with the creation of opportunity. We need to foster that sense of inquiry in students, and I think we are uniquely qualified to do this through the Ursinus Quest and the college’s distinctive curriculum.”

Hannigan succeeds Brock Blomberg, who stepped down as president on September 1, 2021, and Jill Leauber Marsteller ’78, P’18, Ursinus’s former senior vice president for advancement who is currently serving as interim president of Ursinus—and is the college’s first female president—until June 30, 2022.

Hannigan earned a bachelor’s degree from The College of New Jersey, a master’s degree from SUNY Buffalo, and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Rochester.

Hannigan joins Ursinus during a period of unprecedented growth for the college, as it is coming off the largest comprehensive campaign in its history, its recent sesquicentennial celebration, and now, the launch of its next strategic plan, Every Student’s Success.

About Ursinus College 

One of the nation’s “Colleges that Change Lives,” Ursinus College is a highly selective, residential college with 1,500 students that is widely recognized for its Common Intellectual Experience and its Quest: Open Questions Open Minds inquiry-based core curriculum, which has been touted in the higher education press. A top 100 national liberal arts college, Ursinus is noted among the most prestigious in the country for its undergraduate teaching and within the state for its career outcomes. The tree-lined, 170-acre campus is located 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia in Collegeville, Pa.