In a campus-wide email sent earlier today, Board of Managers Chair Howard Lutnik announced that provost and Frances B. Gummere Professor of English Kimberly Benston has agreed to serve as Haverford’s president for an initial two-year term starting on July 1.
The appointment comes a little under two months after Dan Weiss announced that he was leaving Haverford to become the next president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Weiss served as the College’s president for two years, the shortest stay in the position in school history.
Benston joined Haverford’s faculty in 1984, and has since been invaluable in the establishment of the Hurford Center for Arts & Humanities as well as the recent Health Studies and Tri-Co Environmental Studies Programs. Prior to Haverford, Benston taught at Yale University, where he also earned his B.A. (1974), M.A. (1977), M. Phil. (1978) and PhD. (1980).
Before becoming provost three years ago, Benston served as chair of the English Department, director of Africana Studies, and director of the Hurford Center for Arts & Humanities. As provost, Benston has overseen the hiring of sixteen new faculty, fifteen of whom are women and/or people of color.
Also a member of Haverford’s senior staff, Benston has been a driving force in the College’s already effective Plan for 2020 as well as the Lives That Speak fundraising campaign, which has raised over $190 million to date.
According to Lutnik, Benston “lives the values of Haverford and [he] has done much to advance our mission. Nobody could be better positioned to build on the College’s momentum in the coming years.”