Biography

21st President of Emory & Henry College

When Jake B. Schrum was preparing to step down after a very successful thirteen years as president of Southwestern University in his native Texas, he mentioned to his wife that he wasn’t looking to become the president of any other college or university. After all, he had done everything he had wanted: he had strengthened Southwestern in becoming one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges and raised more than $150 million for his alma mater. No, he didn’t want to be the president of any other college, he told his wife, then he added except perhaps Emory & Henry College, which had long been a school that he had admired.

Schrum became president of Emory & Henry College on August 1, 2013 having established a reputation as a national leader in higher education and as a leading proponent of liberal arts education with two successful university presidencies to his credit. It is this experience that Schrum is now using to help propel Emory & Henry forward.

Schrum received his B.A. from Southwestern University and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Yale. He completed the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Southwestern University.

After starting out as a fundraiser at Yale, Schrum led advancement operations at Muhlenberg College, Texas Wesleyan University, Southwestern University and Emory University. He then served as president of Texas Wesleyan University for nine years and president of Southwestern University for thirteen years.

During Schrum’s nine years as president of Texas Wesleyan, the university’s endowment more than doubled (from $22 million to $50 million), the enrollment increased from 1,429 to 3,000 students, and the annual budget grew from $11 million to $32 million. A law school was acquired and fully accredited, an M.B.A. program was launched, and a distance learning program for graduate studies was established.

During his tenure at Southwestern, Schrum led a record-setting $150 million fundraising campaign. Funds raised through the campaign enabled Southwestern to start its signature Paideia Program, which helps students integrate what they learn in the classroom with outside experiences such as civic engagement, intercultural learning, and research projects with professors. Four new Division III athletic teams were started or announced during his tenure at Southwestern – softball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and football. Schrum was instrumental in relocating the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) to Southwestern in 2009. He signed both the Talloires Declaration (an international effort to promote environmental sustainability in higher education) and the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment while at Southwestern and worked to reduce the university’s carbon footprint by emphasizing sustainability and energy efficient, LEED certified construction. In 2010, he signed an agreement with the city of Georgetown that enables Southwestern to get all of its electricity from wind power for eighteen years.

Schrum has served as national board chair for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Educational and Institutional Insurance Administrators (EIIA), as well as for the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS), and the Independent College and Universities of Texas (ICUT). He has served on the boards of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the American Council on Education (ACE), the Council for Independent Colleges (CIC), and the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) Council of Presidents. Schrum currently serves as a trustee of Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Ga., and is a member of the steering committee for the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.

A frequent speaker on the subject of educational fundraising and moral leadership, Schrum has written or edited several books, including Democracy’s Last Stand: The Role of the New Urban University (2000), A Board’s Guide to Comprehensive Campaigns (2000), and Justice for All (ed., 2001). He was recognized in 2013 with a national award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for extraordinary service to education and the field of educational advancement, which includes alumni relations, fundraising, communications and marketing.

President Schrum’s wife, Jane, is a former elementary school choral music teacher and a talented pianist who earned a bachelor’s degree from Southwestern University and a master’s degree from the Hartt School of Music. The Schrums are parents of two daughters, Libby, a furniture maker living in Maine, and Kate, who also works in non-profit fundraising in Georgia.

Educational Background

  • B.A. in Psychology, Southwestern University, Georgetown, Tx.
  • Attended Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Tx.
  • Master of Divinity, Yale University Divinity School, Newhaven, Ct.
  • Institute for Educational Management, Harvard University, Cambridge, Ma.
  • L.L.D., Honoris Causa, Southwestern University, Georgetown, Tx.