Illinois Wesleyan University names first woman president

Chronicle Media

S. Georgia Nugent, Ph.D., president emerita of Kenyon College, will lead Illinois Wesleyan University as the institution’s 20th president.

Nugent, who joined the university as interim president in August, becomes the first woman to serve as president of Illinois Wesleyan. The Board of Trustees announced her appointment Nov. 14.

“I originally arrived at Illinois Wesleyan as interim president, planning only to be on the campus for one year,” Nugent said. “But I quickly came to love the institution, its mission, and its people — faculty, students, staff and alumni. I felt that we could work together to build a stronger Illinois Wesleyan University for the future.”

Board Chair Timothy J. Szerlong said, “Georgia’s influence on the Illinois Wesleyan community was evident from the day she arrived on campus. Her wealth of experience in higher education, her engaging leadership style, and her unwavering commitment to academic excellence gives our Board of Trustees every confidence that she will have a profound impact in shaping the future of IWU.”

Presidential Search Committee Chair W. Thomas Lawrence added, “As our interim president, Georgia has exhibited strong leadership skills in an honest and transparent manner that have won her the respect of the University community.”

While serving as Illinois Wesleyan’s president, Nugent will continue to assist with some CIC projects, as an advocate for the value of liberal arts education.

Nugent is married to Tom Scherer, who practices international law.