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Laura Skandera Trombley
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Laura Skandera Trombley became the fifth president of Pitzer College in July 2002. Under her leadership, the College has experienced an unprecedented rise in worldwide recognition, moving up from #70 to #35 in U.S. News and World Report rankings. In 2012, Pitzer was named the 20th most selective higher education institution in the country. Nationally, the College has been the leader in Fulbright Fellowships per 1,000 students for nine of the last 10 years and is known as an innovator in academic programing, including the new Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability. Trombley has shepherded the transformation of the Pitzer College campus with the construction of eight mixed-use residential buildings that have earned LEED Platinum or Gold certification. In December 2012, President Barack Obama named Trombley to the 12-member J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. A noted Mark Twain scholar, Trombley is the author of five books, most recently, Mark Twain's Other Woman, published by Knopf in 2010. Trombley earned her BA and MA at Pepperdine University and her PhD from USC. In 2002, Pepperdine named her one of its Accomplished Alumni. Trombley received an honorary doctorate from Pepperdine and delivered the commencement address for the university's Graduate School of Education and Psychology in 2013.

Entries by Laura Skandera Trombley

The Enduring Power of the Humanities

(0) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 2:50 PM

Adapted from a speech given at Union College's Founders Day 2015 celebration.

I've been invited to speak about the "Enduring Power of the Humanities," and while I believe in the topic (with a double major in English and humanities I better) the humanities really best speak for themselves. Yet the...

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Breaking Bad in Bavaria

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 12:53 PM

The best preparation I ever had for becoming a college president wasn't the Harvard IEM seminar or the administrative program at Cornell. It was breaking my ankle in Bavaria.

During grad school, I wound up teaching at the Katholische University in Eichstaett, West Germany, as it was called at...

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What Presidents Think: The Inside Higher Ed/Gallup Survey of College CEOs

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 3:24 PM

And now to use a decidedly 20th-century term, "hot off the press," to refer to a 21st-century invention, the web-based survey: Here we have the fourth survey of college and university presidents by Gallup and Inside Higher Ed. For those of you who subscribe to Inside Higher Ed,...

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George Soros, Carly Fiorina, Albert Schweitzer: Liberal Arts Slackers

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 5:52 PM

I was recently invited to Washington DC to give a talk at the 36th Annual Fulbright Association Conference about the relevance of a liberal arts education in the 21st century economy. As the president of Pitzer College and an avid proponent of the liberal arts, this was not the first...

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It's Liberal Arts College Party Time!

(2) Comments | Posted July 21, 2011 | 11:35 AM

Every college president's heartbeat quickens whenever a reporter from a major media outlet calls to have a chat. Of course you always hope they're calling because they've just realized how utterly fabulous your institution is and they want to sing your praises to the wider world and stress the importance...

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What Would Twain Make of Dr. Kush?

(10) Comments | Posted March 30, 2010 | 11:12 AM

I had a Mark Twain, nineteenth-century moment at Venice Beach last week.

It was a beautiful February day and I took my thirteen year-old son to walk down the strand. I lived in Venice when I was a PhD student during the 1980s and always enjoyed bartering for t-shirts...

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