The Emory & Henry College Board of Trustees announced today that it has selected Jake B. Schrum to serve as president of the institution.
Schrum, who retires as president of Southwestern University in Texas on June 30, will begin work at Emory & Henry on Aug. 1. Schrum replaces Dr. Rosalind Reichard, who announced last fall her plans to retire as president of Emory & Henry.
Schrum has served as president of Southwestern since July 1, 2000. Emory & Henry will be the third university he has served as president.
“For more than 176 years, Emory & Henry has been putting its mark on students, not only by educating minds, but also by leaving an impression on their hearts,” Schrum said to more than 150 students and members of the faculty and staff gathered in the E&H Van Dyke Center.
“I am looking forward to being a part of this magnificent institution, which is counting on each of us to do our part to make this extraordinary educational experience even stronger … to be a light on the hills that others want to emulate.”
Schrum praised the E&H liberal arts mission, which emphasizes the importance of creativity in response to a changing world. “Emory & Henry and its student-centered emphasis on increasing in excellence has cleared a path” for success in a liberal arts setting.
Donna Vaughn, a member of the E&H Board of Trustees who chaired the Presidential Search Committee, said Schrum’s experiences, character and passion for the liberal arts were important factors in the Committee’s decision to recommend him for selection. “We found him to be genuine. We found him to get us. He completely understood what Emory & Henry was about … and that made it very easy for us.”
During the announcement, the E&H community also was introduced to Schrum’s wife, Jane, who said she looked forward to being part of a community focused on affecting positive change in the lives of others. “I expect this to be a transformational experience for Jake and me, and we look forward to that,” she said, adding, “I count you all as family.”
Schrum becomes the second former Southwestern University president to serve as president of Emory & Henry. William Carrington Finch, who served as president of Southwestern from 1949 to 1961, was president of Emory & Henry from 1965 to 1970.
During his tenure at Southwestern, President Schrum presided over the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history. That campaign, which is known as Thinking Ahead: The Southwestern Campaign, raised more than $136 million of its $150 million goal.
Funds raised through the Thinking Ahead campaign allowed Southwestern to construct several new buildings during President Schrum’s tenure, including a new admission center and the Prothro Center for Lifelong Learning, which consolidates student services into one building. Several buildings also have been renovated, such as the Alma Thomas Fine Arts Center.
Funds raised through the campaign also enabled Southwestern to start its signature program known as the Paideia program. The program was designed to help students integrate what they learn in the classroom with outside experiences such as civic engagement, intercultural learning and research projects with professors.
Schrum previously served as vice president for development at Emory University in Atlanta, which is named for the same Methodist bishop for whom Emory & Henry is named − Bishop John Emory.