List of presidents of Sarah Lawrence College

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These are the presidents of Sarah Lawrence College in Westchester, New York.

Name Start End Description
Karen R. Lawrence[1] 2007 present A noted scholar of James Joyce, holding a B.A. from Yale University, a Master of Arts in English Literature from Tufts University, and a Ph.D. in literature from Columbia University. [1] Before her tenure at Sarah Lawrence, Dr. Lawrence served as the dean of the School of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine from 1998 to 2007, and as a member and subsequent chair of the English faculty at the University of Utah from 1978 to 1997.
Michele Tolela Myers[2] 1998 2007 Myers holds a Ph.D. and a master's degree from the University of Denver, another master's degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, and a Diplôme in political science and economics from the Institute of Political Studies at the University of Paris. Before her tenure at Sarah Lawrence, Dr. Myers served as president of Denison University from 1989 to 1998. In 2007, French President Jacques Chirac appointed her to the Légion d'Honneur, the highest honor an individual can receive from the French government. The honor was awarded to Dr. Myers for her services to education in the United States.
Alice Stone Ilchman 1981 1998 As the longest-serving president in Sarah Lawrence College’s history, Ilchman had a profound effect on the school. She established two new buildings, 10 faculty chairs, and three overseas programs; she strengthened the College’s management and finances and helped it find its place in the global community. In so doing, she advanced the College’s unique approach to education during a time when the liberal arts often appeared to be endangered.
Charles DeCarlo 1969 1981 A former IBM executive, DeCarlo was a strong force in solidifying the College's finances. He was also responsible for expanding the size of the campus, building the Esther Raushenbush Library, doubling the size of the Performing Arts Center, increased dormitory capacity by 25 percent with the construction of Andrews Court and Slonim Woods, and purchasing Slonim, Swinford and Lyles Houses.
Esther Raushenbush 1965 1969 A former member of the Sarah Lawrence literature faculty (1935–1946 and 1957–1962), dean of the College (1946–1957), and founder and director of Sarah Lawrence's Center for Continuing Education (1962–1965). Raushenbush believed that the College was created to be a continually experimenting college and stressed the strong commitment it made to the continual examination and inquiry into education.
Paul Ward 1960 1965 Ward came to Sarah Lawrence from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, in Pittsburgh, where he headed the history department. During his presidency, Ward oversaw a significant increase in the student body, an expansion of the physical campus and implemented broader academic offerings and international exchange programs. He believed that liberal education was a critical component in expanding common perceptions and creating new fields of intellectual satisfaction.
Harrison Tweed 1959 1960 During his brief tenure as acting President, longtime trustee Tweed increased the size of the student body to save Sarah Lawrence from bankruptcy, but managed to preserve the individual philosophy by refusing to enlarge classes or standardize the academic program.
Harold Taylor 1945 1959 Inaugurated at age 30, Taylor was the youngest president in the College's history. In addition to defending academic freedom during the McCarthy years and establishing the first graduate studies program, Taylor was renowned for remembering the names of every student on campus.
Constance Warren 1929 1945 Warren's promotion of an individualized education model and her innovative curriculum structure are at the core of the Sarah Lawrence philosophy. Another substantial contribution to the College was her recruitment of a nationally renowned faculty.
Marion Coats 1924 1929 A friend of Vassar College President Henry McCracken and of Sarah Lawrence founder William Van Duzer Lawrence, Coats was the College's first president. Coats had traditional views of women's role in society that were at odds with her progressive approach to women's education.


  1. ^ "President Karen R. Lawrence". Sarah Lawrence College. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  2. ^ "Vision for Education: Sarah Lawrence College Presidents". Sarah Lawrence College Archives. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 

"President of Sarah Lawrence College". Sarah Lawrence College. Retrieved 2014-01-20.