W&L names Will Dudley next President

Will Dudley will become the president of W&L in Jan. 2017. Photo Courtesy of the Office of Communications.
Will Dudley will become the president of W&L in Jan. 2017. Photo Courtesy of the Office of Communications.

This Friday, President Adam Falk announced in a campus-wide email that Will Dudley ’89, provost and professor of philosophy, accepted the position of president at Washington and Lee University (W&L) in Lexington, VA.

Dudley will assume the presidency of  W&L on Jan. 1, 2017.

Dudley became provost in 2011 and has since overseen numerous operations and played an integral role in establishing initiatives for the ongoing capital campaign, “Teach It Forward: The Campaign for Williams”.

He has also chaired the Committee on Undergraduate Life and been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts since 2010.

“Will is especially well suited for the role at W&L, a school grounded in the liberal arts tradition and dedicated to ensuring its continued relevance and value in today’s world,” Falk said. “Will has brought a rare combination of analytical depth and humane commitment to his five years as provost, and he has been a wonderful colleague as a member of the senior staff.”

“The most important thing I will need to do is get to know the people – students, faculty, staff, alumni – so that I can best support their initiatives,” Dudley said. “W&L is working on the same things that are important at Williams:  academic quality and innovation, access and affordability, campus community, new facilities and alumni engagement and fundraising.”

When asked about the similarities between the College and W&L, Dudley said, “Both take tremendous pride in their history and traditions while also being deeply committed to self-examination and improvement. The students and faculty are very strong and the alumni are wildly enthusiastic.”

Dudley believes that he will miss the people at the College the most. “It’s where I made my best friends, discovered philosophy and realized I wanted to be a professor.  I felt like I won the lottery when I was offered a position on the faculty in 1998 and I have loved serving Williams ever since,” he said.

After graduating from the College, Dudley pursued a masters and doctorate in philosophy from Northwestern University. He returned to the Berkshires as a professor of philosophy in 1998.

“I love to learn and to be fully challenged and there’s no doubt that being the president of Washington and Lee will teach me a lot and demand everything I have to offer,” said Dudley.

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