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Smith College names Sarah Willie-LeBreton as 12th president

Sarah Willie-LeBreton, provost of Swarthmore College, in Pennsylvania, has been named Smith College's 12th president.
Laurence Kesterson
/
Swarthmore College
Sarah Willie-LeBreton, provost of Swarthmore College, in Pennsylvania, has been named Smith College's 12th president.

Smith College announced its 12th president on Thursday — Sarah Willie-LeBreton who is currently the provost and dean of faculty at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.

Speaking from the Northampton, Massachusetts, campus, Willie-LeBreton cited the importance of the college’s mission: To educate its all-female student base to tackle the world’s toughest challenges.

"The seriousness of Smith’s mission cannot be overstated in a society’s whose highest institutions reveal a tragic ambivalence about the value and humanity of women," she said.

A sociologist who studies social inequality and race and ethnicity, Willie-LeBreton is known for her commitment to the liberal arts, and her work in equity and inclusion.

She is the author of “Acting Black: College, Identity and the Performance of Race,” and editor of and contributor to “Transforming the Academy: Faculty Perspectives on Diversity and Pedagogy.”

Willie-LeBreton will take over Smith's presidency July 2023.

Corrected: September 16, 2022 at 10:31 AM EDT
Due to an editing error, a previous version of this post mistakenly included quotation marks around a paraphrase of the college's mission statement.
Carrie Saldo is a host and producer for New England Public Media.
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