Alan C. Price is Earlham’s 18th President
July 01, 2017
Alan C. Price became Earlham’s 18th President on July 1, 2017. The Earlham College Board of Trustees announced the appointment on January 20, 2017. He most recently served as the Associate Director of Management for the Peace Corps as well as the Acting Chief of Staff for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Washington, D.C. An expert in change management and leadership development, Price joined Earlham’s Board of Trustees in July 2016.
“The Board of Trustees is absolutely thrilled to welcome Alan Price as Earlham’s next president,” said Deborah Hull ’67, chair of the Earlham board. “Throughout his career, Alan has proven himself as a visionary leader with a unique ability to make good organizations even better. We are looking forward to working with Alan to make Earlham stronger, more nimble and even better able to fulfill its educational mission in a rapidly changing world.”
Price, who is African-American, will be the first person of color to serve as Earlham’s president. Although he ran a department at Harvard Business School and has taught on the university level, his career has spanned a broad range of experiences in non-profit, for-profit and government organization that will inform his return to academia. He majored in economics at Earlham and earned his J.D. at Harvard Law School in 1992. In a varied career, he has worked as a consultant to major corporations, but also displayed a passion for education, including serving as an elected member of the Cambridge (Mass.) School Board from 2002-04. He also has a long history of public service, serving in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1983-89 and on the Cambridge (Mass.) Police Review and Advisory Board from 1996-2002, in addition to leadership roles in federal government, to which he was appointed by President Barack Obama.
David Stump ’72, a board member who chaired the search committee, added that Price’s impressive professional background and passion for Earlham helped him distinguish himself to the committee. “Alan immediately stood out in a field of exceptionally strong candidates,” said Stump. “During his many interviews, Alan quickly connected with students, faculty and staff. We heard from many in the campus community who felt that he is an ideal person to lead the College at this time in its history.”
The presidential search attracted more than 50 candidates, and culminated with open on-campus interviews with four finalists. Price was the consensus choice of the College’s trustees.
As an alumnus and board member, Price will have the advantage of deep knowledge of the College, a perspective on its past, and insights into its future possibilities.
As he looked toward his presidency, Price highlighted the ways in which the College prepared him for this role, “Earlham is where I first learned the power and importance of consensus building. Earlham is where I reexamined childhood assumptions about social justice and social responsibility. Earlham is where I learned to speak truth to power — with respect,” he recalled.
“I am in love with Earlham, not just as a romantic ideal filtered through my younger eyes, trapped in amber, and preserved like some curio. I am in love with Earlham’s complicated and messy reality, scarred by many of the same human and organizational imperfections that make the larger world so fascinating. Earlham provides both a microcosm of the world as it is and a vision of what the world might be. Although my J.D. from Harvard Law School has opened doors to extraordinary opportunities, it has always been my Earlham education (academic and co-curricular experiences) that brought out the best in me and truly prepared me to bring out the best in other people and organizations.”
Price is the author of Ready to Lead? A story for leaders and their mentors (Jossey Bass 2004) and has served as a consultant to such clients as Fortune 500 companies, major universities, and utility providers.
Price is joined in Richmond by his wife of 24 years, Gina LaRoche, a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Business School, and co-founder of Seven Stones Leadership Group. They have two adult sons — Jackson and Griffin.
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Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."
Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and firstname.lastname@example.org.