Drew University elects Hilary Link, PhD as its 15th president

Hilary Link, PhD is poised to be the 15th President of Madison-based Drew University, according to a Wednesday announcement from the University’s Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee.

Link, who will officially take office on July 1, 2023, brings a distinguished track record of leadership at prominent higher education institutions in the U.S. and abroad. She will succeed President Thomas Schwarz, who will step down at the end of June after successfully fulfilling his three-year commitment.

Most recently, Link comes to Drew from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania where she served as president from 2019 to 2022. She successfully guided Allegheny through the COVID-19 pandemic while managing demographic, enrollment, and financial challenges facing institutions of higher education across the country.

Prior to Allegheny College, Link was dean of Temple University Rome and previously served as vice provost at Barnard College of Columbia University. She began her career in higher education as director of scholar programs at New York University. Link earned her bachelor’s degree at Stanford University and both her master’s degree and doctorate in Italian language and literature at Yale University.

“We are delighted to have attracted a candidate who has spent decades in leadership roles at prominent institutions of higher education with such outstanding pedigrees and reputations,” Fredrick Fuest C’68, P’02,’08, chair of the Presidential Search Committee and vice chair of the Board of Trustees said. “Dr. Link’s appointment comes at the end of a national nine-month search process that involved the energetic and thoughtful input of Drew trustees, faculty, staff, students, alums, and the executive search firm Storbeck Search. We sought a bold visionary who is innovative, entrepreneurial, inspiring, and financially astute, and I am proud to say we found all that in Dr. Link.”

“I am excited to step into the leadership of Drew University, a strong institution known for providing its students with a truly immersive learning experience and for a faculty distinctively dedicated to student success,” Link said.

“The past several years have been particularly challenging for small liberal arts colleges, and I look forward to working with Drew’s faculty and staff across the University, including the College of Liberal Arts, Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, and Drew Theological School, to build on their tremendous work. I am eager to begin working with the entire Drew community to forge the University’s path into a vibrant and successful future,” she added.