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Office of the President


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

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.

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.

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About the President

Grant Cornwell began service as Rollins College’s president on July 1, 2015, bringing nearly 30 years of higher education experience to the College.


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.

In just a few years, 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 engaged the entire college community in an extensive strategic planning process, including an ambitious capital projects plan that will change the face of the campus over the next five years 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 is also shepherding the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the College’s history, 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 multiculturalism, freedom, diversity, and global citizenship. He is a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and chairs the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ (AAC&U) Presidents’ Trust. He is also a member of the executive committee of Florida Campus Compact. He has 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 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.

Cornwell is an avid sailor, basketball player, and golfer. He and his wife, Peg, have two sons, Kelsey and Tosh, and Sailor, their dog.


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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