Dear Pitzer Community,
ince its founding, Pitzer College has been committed to producing engaged, socially responsible citizens of the world. Its emphases on social justice, intercultural understanding, and environmental sustainability are needed now more than ever. We are fortunate to have found in Strom C. Thacker a president who embraces Pitzer’s approach to teaching and learning and who is committed to elevating the College’s visibility and impact.
Strom comes to us from Union College in Schenectady, New York, where he was dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs. Previously, he served on the faculty and held leadership positions at Boston University. A political scientist by training, Strom’s research and teaching focus on issues related to democracy, economic development, and healthcare in Mexico and Latin America. It was important for Pitzer that our presidential search process be open and inclusive. Strom quickly emerged as a frontrunner in this process because of the profound impact that a liberal arts education has had on his life and his personal experiences at The Claremont Colleges.
Strom graduated from Pomona College in 1988 and spent time on Pitzer’s campus. In fact, he credits a Pitzer course on international political economy—taught by Professor Tom Ilgen—as being one of the most impactful on his thinking and future career. You’ll learn more about how his time in Claremont and other experiences have shaped his life in academia in our Participant interview.
It should become clear to you—as it did to our search committee—that Strom “gets” Pitzer and has a deep understanding of and affection for The Claremont Colleges that distinguished him from other candidates. Last October we invited him and two other finalists to visit campus and meet with faculty, staff, students, board members, and alumni. All the finalists were impressive, but Strom’s obvious embrace of Pitzer’s core values, his thoughtful answers to our questions, and his ability to relate well with all members of the Pitzer community were central to his selection.
I hope you enjoy learning more about Strom, his family, and what he thinks about Pitzer’s future in this new issue of Participant magazine.