Earlham president resigns after 1 year; Avis Stewart named interim leader

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Earlham College in Richmond will undergo a change in leadership this summer, college officials announced Wednesday.

Alan Price

Avis Stewart

President Alan Price has announced his resignation after leading Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion since July 1, 2017. He will conclude his work at the college July 31, and will assist with the transition to new leadership.

“After careful deliberation, I have decided that this is the best way forward at this time,” Price said in a news release. “I would like to express my profound gratitude to the entire community for supporting me and generating an atmosphere of positive collaboration over this last year. Earlham will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Deborah Hull, chair of the college’s Board of Trustees, said the board had accepted his resignation and expressed appreciation to Price for his contributions as president.

“Alan’s presidency has contributed to a very positive campus and community spirit and he has effectively reached out to alumni for their support,” Hull said. “His love and regard for the College and the unique educational experience it provides students has been apparent from the start. During his tenure, a strong Cabinet has been recruited and he has engaged the campus community in a re-envisioning process intended to position the College to successfully meet the challenges facing higher education. We wish him the best in his next professional chapter and sincerely thank him and his wife, Gina, for their service to the College.”

Hull also announced that Avis Stewart will serve as the interim president until a new president is selected.

“Avis has been a member of the College’s administration for many years and is respected by those on campus and off for his ability and dedication to the College,” said Hull. “He has served in many roles including as a vice president in areas including Institutional Advancement, Community Relations, and Athletics.”

According to the college’s website, Stewart has served Earlham in a variety of roles for more than three decades, including 15 years as a vice president. Stewart served as Vice President for Community Relations from 2002-2015 and Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Community Relations from 2015-17. Most recently, he has served on the President’s Cabinet as a senior adviser to the president and as a major gift officer.

Stewart’s contributions to Earlham and the communities of Richmond and Wayne County have been widely celebrated. In 2014, he received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, Indiana’s highest accolade for public service. He is also the past recipient of the Townsend Community Center President’s Award, United Way of Whitewater Valley Volunteer of the Year and Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce’s Appreciation of Service Award.

A native of Marion, Ind., Stewart came to Earlham in 1970 and was a four-year member of the Earlham basketball team and three-year member of the track team while earning his bachelor’s degree. He was inducted into the Earlham Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001. He also holds a master’s degree from Ball State University.

Hull said the college’s board will decide how to conduct a search in consultation with faculty, staff and student representatives early in the upcoming academic year.

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