Office of the President

A Message from the President

It has been a profound honor and privilege to serve as Rollins’ president for the past nine years. Part of my role as steward of Rollins is to ensure a smooth transition from my presidency to the next. In accordance with that duty, I recently shared with the Board of Trustees my decision to conclude my service as Rollins president at the end of the 2024-25 academic year. Please watch this video message and allow me to share more information on the presidential transition as well as my appreciation for all that we have accomplished together.

Thank you and fiat lux,
Grant Cornwell

Rick Goings, chairman of the Rollins College Board of Trustees, delivers an address at commencement.

A Message from Board of Trustees Chair Rick Goings

Rick Goings ’12H, chair of the Rollins College Board of Trustees, shares more information on President Grant Cornwell’s retirement announcement and provides a first update on the search for Rollins’ next president.

Read the Chair’s Message

Grant H. Cornwell, the 15th president of Rollins College

Lessons in Sailing An avid sailor, President Grant Cornwell has learned many lessons aboard ship that have proved as valuable on the water as they have in life—and in his role as president. Read More

Grant Cornwell


Grant Cornwell was named Rollins’ 15th president following eight years as president of The College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio, where he championed initiatives in diversity and global engagement, collaborative research, and experiential learning. Prior to his Wooster presidency, Cornwell served as vice president of the university and dean of academic affairs at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, for five years. For the previous 16 years, he was a member and chair of St. Lawrence’s philosophy department and dean of St. Lawrence’s hallmark First-Year Program. The curiosity and exploration at the core of liberal learning remain driving forces in his approach to higher education.

Since his arrival in 2015, Cornwell has grown Rollins’ reputation as a distinguished liberal arts college. Under his leadership, applications, enrollment, and the diversity of the student body have been the highest in the College’s history. He has engaged the entire college community in an extensive strategic planning process, including an ambitious capital projects plan that is changing the face of the campus as facilities are constructed or renovated to facilitate delivery of programs focused on student success in the 21st century. He is forging the transformation of the Hamilton Holt School evening program to meet the needs of a new generation of learners. He has advanced the College’s commitment to excellence in teaching by relaunching the Endeavor Center for Faculty Development. He has also shepherded an ambitious fundraising campaign raising over $290 million, anchored by the single largest outright gift—$40 million—in Rollins’ history.

Cornwell is nationally recognized for his work in defining liberal learning in a global environment and continues to write regularly about freedom, democracy, diversity, and global citizenship. A past member of the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and former chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ (AAC&U) Presidents’ Trust, he has also served on the boards of AAC&U and Teach for America, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Literacy Advisory Board, the American Council on Education’s Commission on International Initiatives and the national advisory panel for the Association of Governing Boards’ project on Faculty and Institutional Governance. While at The College of Wooster, he chaired the Great Lakes Colleges Association's board of directors and served as president of the North Coast Athletic Conference (Division III). He is a co-author of “An Education for the Twenty-First Century: Stewardship of the Global Commons,” which appeared in AAC&U’s Liberal Education, among other publications.

Cornwell holds bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and biology from St. Lawrence University and master’s and doctoral degrees in philosophy from the University of Chicago. In 2017, Cornwell was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from The College of Wooster, and in 2020, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from St. Lawrence University.

In addition to holding the George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Chair of Distinguished Presidential Leadership, Cornwell is a member of the Rollins faculty, serving as a professor of philosophy.


Global Citizenship and Responsible Leadership in an Election Year
Convocation & Matriculation Address (August 2016)
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Making Up Your Mind: The Project of Liberal Education
Convocation & Matriculation Address (August 2015)
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"On Purpose: Liberal Education and the Question of Value"
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"Sugar Estates of St. Kitts: A Photo Essay"
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"An Education for the 21st Century: Stewardship of the Global Commons"
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"Globalizing Knowledge: Connecting International & Intercultural Studies"
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Rita Bornstein: A Celebration of Life

A service of remembrance for Rollins’ 13th president, Rita Bornstein ’04H ’04HAL at Knowles Memorial Chapel on Monday, January 29, 2024.

Read more about the life of Rita Bornstein