Diana Chapman Walsh to Step Down in June 2007
April 28, 2006
Mass. -- Diana Chapman Walsh announced
today that she will end her tenure as the president of
Wellesley College in June, 2007. Walsh informed the College’s
board of trustees of her decision to leave Wellesley at
the board's 136th annual meeting this morning.
is never an easy time to walk away from work you love, but I
know this is the right time -- for Wellesley and for
me,” Walsh said in making her announcement. “The College
is robust and focused, with a wonderfully promising future. For
my part, the rewarding experience of serving Wellesley with all
my heart has reshaped me in ways I now need time apart to absorb,
and then to transform into another new beginning.”
is Wellesley’s twelfth president, a position
she assumed on October 1, 1993. She is the fourth alumna to head
Wellesley, the nation's leading college for women. Under her leadership,
the College has undertaken a number of new initiatives, including
a revision of the curriculum, expanded programs in global education,
expanded experiential and service learning opportunities and new
interdisciplinary programs, including environmental sciences, neuroscience,
and computer sciences. During Walsh’s presidency, several
new facilities have been constructed, including the Lulu
Chow Wang Campus Center, the Knapp Media and Technology Center, the Knapp
Social Science Center and the Newhouse
Center for the Humanities.
Other important innovations during this period include the establishment
of the Religious and Spiritual Life Program, the creation of the
annual Ruhlman and Tanner Conferences on student research and learning
and other initiatives designed to strengthen the quality of campus
tenure, the value of the Wellesley College endowment has grown
from $485 million to more than $1.3 billion.
Walsh recently led a five-year comprehensive fundraising campaign,
which closed in October 2005 after raising $472.3 million, a record
for a liberal arts college. Through the campaign, Wellesley boosted
its financial aid endowment by $90 million, strengthened academic
offerings, expanded internships and experiential learning and restored
the campus landscape, including the 11-acre Alumnae Valley.
Chapman Walsh is an extraordinary leader who has strengthened
Wellesley in countless ways,” commented Victoria
Herget of Chicago, chair of the Wellesley College Board of Trustees. “Those
of us fortunate to have worked closely with her understand how
privileged the College has been to have her at the helm. She brings
intellect, insight and sensitivity to every situation and creates
learning opportunities in each context. The College is deeply indebted
to Diana for her selfless and devoted service.”
Walsh is a 1966 graduate of Wellesley, where she majored in English.
At Boston University, she earned an M.S. degree in journalism (1971)
and a Ph.D. in health policy from the University Professors Program
(1983). She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
and currently serves on the boards of Amherst College and the State
Before assuming the Wellesley presidency, Walsh was Florence Sprague
Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor at the Harvard School of
Public Health, where she chaired the Department of Health and Social
Behavior. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, she was at Boston
University, as a University Professor, and Professor of Social
and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Public Health.
As a Kellogg National Fellow from 1987 to 1990, Walsh traveled
throughout the United States and abroad studying workplace democracy
and principles of leadership and writing poetry. She has written,
edited and co-edited numerous articles and fourteen books, including
a study of the practice of medicine within corporations, titled
Corporate Physicians: Between Medicine and Management, Yale University
Press, 1987. She is co-editor of Society and Health, Oxford University
Press, 1995, an analysis of social and cultural determinants of
health and illness.
Walsh’s recent speeches and writings have focused on leadership.
Her essay, “Trustworthy Leadership: Can We Be the Leaders
We Need Our Students to Become?”, was published earlier this
year by Jossey-Bass.
Diana Chapman Walsh was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
and graduated from the Springside School in Chestnut Hill. Her
husband, Christopher T. Walsh, is the Hamilton Kuhn Professor in
the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry
at the Harvard Medical School. Their daughter, Allison Walsh Kurian,
is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Medical School
and is a practicing physician in California.
Wellesley College has been a leader in women’s
education. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate
students from all 50 states and more than 65 countries.