Sarah Lawrence College President to Retire

Michele Myers

The president of Sarah Lawrence College, Michele Tolela Myers, will retire from her position at the end of the academic year 2006-2007. She will have headed the small, coeducational, liberal arts college known nationally for its distinctive approach to teaching, for nine years.

“Michele Myers has done it all in the eight years she has been at the College,” said Robert Riggs, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Under her guidance, the College has grown and prospered, adding new buildings, courses and faculty, yet staying within its financial means and maintaining the unique but costly pedagogy that includes one-on-one student-faculty contact and the integration of the arts within the curriculum.”

“I am proud of our achievements,” said Myers who has made fundraising a priority of her administration and who helped take the College’s recently concluded capital campaign over its $75 million goal. The campaign, which topped $81 million, funded a new visual arts building that broke new ground through its innovative design for the interdisciplinary teaching of the visual arts as well as for its environmentally sound building principles. Under Myers’ leadership, the campaign, which celebrated the College’s 75th anniversary, also brought in funding to support faculty, student scholarships and improvements to the College’s technological infrastructure.

Margot Bogert, who chaired the fund-raising campaign and had headed the search committee as board chair at the time Myers was hired, said: “President Myers has brought vision, experience, enormous energy and hard work to the enterprise, guiding the College to a new level of success.”

Myers plans to do much more before her departure in the spring of 2007, noting that raising funds for student scholarships is an urgent task for all independent colleges and universities as they face rising expenses. “It is imperative that our programs be affordable for all students,” she said.

While the recent campaign doubled the College’s endowment, trustee chair Riggs acknowledges that there is more to do. “Michele is easing the way for her successor by planning and starting the next endowment campaign that should result in a fund sufficient to underwrite the College's requirements,” he said.

Myers is leaving Sarah Lawrence to pursue interests which include fiction and nonfiction writing projects. The college expects to begin its search this spring for a new president, whose term will commence in summer 2007.