Dr. Ron Cole ’87 was named Allegheny’s 23rd president in September 2022.
Under Dr. Cole’s leadership, the College has undertaken an inclusive strategic planning process. As president, he has continued his steadfast focus on the student experience both in and out of the classroom.
During this past year, the College received its highest amount of donor support in history with gifts totaling more than $19 million. Significant gifts were received to fund faculty-led student research, student scholarships and retention grants, diversity and inclusion programming, athletics, and campus infrastructure improvements in support of President Cole’s initiatives.
Allegheny is brimming with outstanding and dedicated faculty and staff and is a leader in innovative interdisciplinary education and research. I look forward to continuing to lead my alma mater as we continue to forge our pathway to thrive in the 21st century.
President Cole has a deep history with Allegheny College having served as the provost and dean of the college for seven years and as a faculty member in the geology department for 20 years. He is also a proud graduate of the College. “As a student from a single-parent home in Brooklyn, NY, attending Allegheny College was transformative as I learned the values of intellectual curiosity, community, altruism, and leading a life of consequence,” said Dr. Cole.
“Dr. Cole is an inspirational and empathetic leader who is well-respected by the campus and broader Meadville communities,” said Steve Levinsky ’78, Board of Trustees Chair. “Dr. Cole has brought the campus together through his leadership, he is passionate about Allegheny College and our students, and brings an innovative approach to the Presidential position. We support his efforts to continue elevating Allegheny’s position as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country.”
Dr. Cole is a nationally recognized speaker on campus leadership, transformational change, community engaged learning, and the value of the liberal arts. He was the recipient of the Council of Independent Colleges Chief Academic Officer Award in 2021.
“Allegheny College is an incredibly special place and I am honored by the opportunity to lead this great institution,” said Dr. Cole. “Allegheny has a long history of being an institution that makes a difference in the lives of students and preparing graduates for strong outcomes as evidenced by our highly engaged and successful alumni. Allegheny is brimming with outstanding and dedicated faculty and staff and is a leader in innovative interdisciplinary education and research. I look forward to continuing to lead my alma mater as we continue to forge our pathway to thrive in the 21st century.”
During Dr. Cole’s time as provost and dean of the college, he promoted data-informed change for student success that led to practices to improve student retention including new structures to unify and advance holistic student advising, planned and led collaborative and inclusive strategic work to advance new academic and co-curricular programs including Informatics, Business, Art, Science & Innovation, and the Allegheny Lab for Innovation and Creativity, advanced opportunities for professional development of faculty and staff, and fostered community partnerships. Cole advanced diversity of faculty and the curriculum by launching an interdisciplinary faculty cohort program and a diversity teaching fellowship program. Dr. Cole has taught at all levels of the curriculum, including first-year seminars and experiential courses to Turkey, South Africa, and Alaska that integrated science with humanities. He received the Allegheny College Thoburn Award for excellence in teaching and established an active student-focused undergraduate research program with funding from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, and the American Chemical Society with over 100 published articles, book chapters, and conference presentations.
Dr. Cole is active in the local community, as a member on the corporate boards of the Meadville Medical Center and the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County and served on the Meadville Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Fund board. He is a certified martial arts instructor having taught classes at the American Black Belt Academy in Meadville for youth and adults and has played violin as a member of the Allegheny College Civic Symphony. President Cole, and his wife Nancy Frambes, reside in Meadville where they raised their two children.