Home BC names Cornelius president

BC names Cornelius president


Staff Report
Bridgewater College news: www.bridgewater.edu

The Bridgewater College Board of Trustees announced today in a special on-campus meeting that it has unanimously selected George Cornelius as the eighth president of the College.

A seasoned leader in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, Cornelius will assume the presidency on July 1, 2010. He currently serves as Secretary of Community and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where he oversees a department of approximately 350 employees and 90 state and federal programs and works closely with many of Pennsylvania’s universities, colleges, and communities. He has been an avid proponent of postsecondary education and training, which he regards as essential in a world fundamentally changed by technology and globalization.

“Our national search has led us to an individual of extraordinary experience, achievement and commitment to excellence,” said Judge G. Steven Agee, Bridgewater trustee and chair of the search committee. “We are confident that the vision, enthusiasm and leadership George Cornelius brings to the presidency will foster the values and mission of the College and continue to build a bright future.”

Bridgewater trustee and board chair Nathan Miller commented, “To guide the future of Bridgewater College, we are fortunate and very pleased to have selected as our next president, George Cornelius, an individual with a distinguished and diverse record of leadership and passion for education.”

Commenting about his appointment, Cornelius said, “It’s a rare privilege and responsibility to join such a vibrant community of scholars, students, and staff that is committed to academic excellence, the liberal arts tradition, and strong values. Under Phil Stone’s able leadership, the college has grown and strengthened its academic and financial foundation. I am eager to meet the faculty, students, staff, alumni, and local residents and to learn more about the things that make Bridgewater special, as well as the college’s potential to provide an even richer and more diverse educational experience in the years ahead—one that is transformative and prepares its graduates to make a difference in the world.”

“Bridgewater College is very fortunate to attract a person of George Cornelius’s experience and ability as its eighth president,” said President Phillip C. Stone. “In my conversations with him I have been impressed with his strong motivation to serve others, his deep interest in higher education and his strong record of achievement and performance. I am certain that all those on campus as well as the alumni and extended community will appreciate having George and his wife, Susan, as members of this community. Cherrill and I look forward to learning to know them better as we work together in the next few months to make the presidential transition seamless. I am certain that George will provide great leadership to the College in the years ahead.”

Prior to joining Gov. Ed Rendell’s cabinet, Cornelius, a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and who holds a juris doctor degree, magna cum laude, from Penn State Dickinson School of Law, was president and CEO of Arkema Inc., a diversified, international chemical company based in Philadelphia with operations throughout the Americas, sales of over $2 billion, and more than 2,000 employees. Before that, he served as vice president and general counsel of Atofina (predecessor to Arkema Inc.) and, earlier, was a partner at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, a national law firm headquartered in Pittsburgh.

Cornelius’s civic and community service has included leadership fundraising roles with United Way and Penn State and various church-related teaching and leadership roles. He also was responsible for management of the Arkema Foundation and has sat on various boards.

“The Bridgewater opportunity was attractive because it combines my passion for education and my interest and abilities in organizational leadership and development. The Church of the Brethren has played a major role in my life, so the fact that the college is grounded in the tradition and values of the Church makes the opportunity even more special,” commented Cornelius. “My wife and I look forward to joining the Bridgewater community and to building on the contributions and successes of Phil and Cherrill Stone. I look forward to working closely with President Stone during this time of transition and to meeting the faculty at the earliest opportunity.”

A native and lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, Cornelius and his wife Susan have two adult sons who are married and living in Indianapolis and Portland, Ore.




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