Lori Bettison-Varga Elected Scripps College President

CLAREMONT, Calif. (March 28, 2009) — Scripps College Board of Trustees has unanimously elected Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga president of Scripps College, effective July 1, 2009. A nationally known proponent of liberal arts undergraduate research, Bettison-Varga is currently provost and dean of the faculty at Whitman College.

“Scripps is thrilled that Professor Lori Bettison-Varga will be our next president,” said Board Chair Roxanne M. Wilson ’76, after a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees Saturday afternoon. “She exemplifies the teacher-researcher-scholar and has a passion for the liberal arts and women’s education. With Lori, Scripps has assured leadership as exceptional as its students, faculty and alumnae. Beyond being a national educational leader of exceptional range and personal warmth, she has ties to Scripps and Claremont, and we are delighted and proud to welcome her ‘home.’”

When notified of her election, Bettison-Varga said: “I could not be more honored than to serve Scripps College. I have long admired Scripps for its unique education, from the Core curriculum in interdisciplinary humanities to the required senior project, and its legacy of developing women leaders active in both private and public enterprise. Scripps has been a part of my life through my mother, who is an alumna, so that personal connection makes me feel even more honored and thrilled.”

“We had an exceptionally accomplished and distinguished pool of candidates,” said trustee Lynne M. O. Brickner ’74, chair of the Presidential Search Committee, “and Lori rose to the top. Her deep liberal arts experience as a professor, provost and former president of the Council on Undergraduate Research make her a superb choice for the presidency of Scripps College. She is energetic, cheerful, optimistic, positive and expressive in her enthusiasm for Scripps. She has internalized her mother’s love of Scripps, the humanities and the senior thesis requirement. She is a very capable higher education administrator, a devoted student mentor and absolutely the right next president for Scripps.”

Bettison-Varga succeeds Frederick “Fritz” Weis, who completes a two-year term as president in June. As president, Bettison-Varga will hold the title of the W.M. Keck Foundation Presidential Chair, established in 1980. “Scripps excels in liberal arts education, and so does Lori Bettison-Varga,” Weis said of his successor. “This is a time of unmatched opportunity for Scripps, and I am confident Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga will take Scripps to the highest levels of excellence and national recognition.”

A Scripps College community-wide event to welcome Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga will be held Monday, March 30, at 10 a.m., in Margaret Fowler Garden on campus.

  • See attached statement from the Scripps Board of Trustees on Bettison-Varga and biographical information.
  • Read the write-up from the Los Angeles Times.