Claremont, Calif. (December 2, 2014) — After more than 12 years of service, Laura Skandera Trombley will step down as president of Pitzer College on June 30, 2015. Trombley has been named the president of The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
“Pitzer is fortunate to have benefitted from President Trombley’s distinctive leadership and vision, as she shepherded the College through its fiftieth year,” said Shahan Soghikian ’80, chair of the Pitzer College Board of Trustees, in an announcement released today. “She leaves an institution sound in its finances and soaring in its accomplishments—one with which we all share a proud association.”
President Trombley will complete the current academic year at Pitzer. The Board of Trustees has appointed Pitzer Professor of Chemistry and former Associate Dean of Faculty Thomas Poon interim president, effective July 1, 2015. Poon, who is serving as acting president during Trombley’s fall semester sabbatical, will act as special assistant to the president during the spring semester, working closely with President Trombley on all aspects of the transition.
Pitzer College’s fifth and longest-serving president, Trombley joined the College in 2002. Under her leadership, Pitzer became one of the most selective higher education institutions in the US and rose dramatically in national rankings, moving from #70 in 2004 to #35 in U.S.News and World Report’s list of top colleges. Pitzer has been the leader in student Fulbright Fellowships per 1,000 students for 10 of the last 11 years and the top producer of Fulbright awardees among US liberal arts colleges for the last four years.
President Trombley led three fundraising campaigns, raising more than $110 million and increasing the College’s endowment to an all-time high. During her tenure, the amount of financial aid awarded increased significantly, and the College constructed eight mixed-use residential buildings that earned either LEED Platinum or Gold certification. A professor of English and world literature, Trombley team-taught classes at Pitzer and continued her scholarly research, publishing her fifth book, Mark Twain’s Other Woman, in 2010.
“I am proud that Pitzer College has taken its place among America’s finest liberal arts colleges without compromising its ideals and values but, instead, by more tightly adhering to the intentions of its founding family and faculty,” President Trombley said.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based educational and research institution in San Marino, CA, and one of the America’s major funders of advanced research in the humanities. Trombley will become the Huntington’s eighth president, and the first woman to lead the institution, in July 2015.