Rollins President Grant Cornwell to Retire Next Year

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Rollins College President Grant Cornwell has announced that he will leave office in June of 2025 after 10 years of service in his current position.

“Since 2015, we have had the exceptional good fortune to have Grant Cornwell at the helm of Rollins College,” said Rick Goings, chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees in a prepared statement. “President Cornwell has been a passionate and innovative leader, tirelessly devoted to the College’s liberal arts mission to educate students for global citizenship and responsible leadership.”

“President Cornwell provided thoughtful and steady leadership during an era of dramatic change in higher education,” added Don Davison, vice president for academic affairs and provost. “A liberal arts education has never been more relevant, and Grant has overseen a renewed commitment to the College’s mission, strengthening our academic excellence and rigor.”

Cornwell helped transform the campus through numerous projects aimed at enriching the student experience and broadening academic offerings. Among them was the refurbishment of a 1950’s-era library building into Rollins’ headquarters of applied learning, Kathleen W. Rollins Hall. The 250,000-square-foot, five-story Lakeside Neighborhood created a new model for residential colleges with its priorities on health, wellness, and community. And the Tiedtke Theatre & Dance Centre has elevated the College’s status as leader in performing arts education.

Cornwell graduated with honors from St. Lawrence University with majors in philosophy and biology. He received his MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. Both St. Lawrence and The College of Wooster have awarded him honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees. His professional resume includes serving as vice president of academic affairs and professor of philosophy at St. Lawrence University. He also served eight years as president of The College of Wooster before taking the office of president of Rollins College.

Throughout his career, Cornwell’s research and teaching have focused on issues of racial justice and multicultural democracies. He has served on the boards of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. He also served as chair of the AAC&U’s Presidents’ Trust – a national advocacy group for advancing liberal education.

In addition to his achievements and service, Cornwell has advocated for academic freedom. Last year he joined the Institute for Citizens & Scholars, whose mission is to advance free inquiry, free speech, and diversity of thought as essential principles for institutions of higher learning and democracies.

Cornwell will remain Rollins president until June of 2025. The College will begin a national search for its next president and remains committed to building on Cornwell’s legacy, and continuing its tradition of excellence in higher education. Information on the search for a new president can be found at

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