Avis Stewart | Earlham College
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Thank You to Avis Stewart

The Earlham College Cabinet warmly invites the Earlham and Richmond communities to join in saying, “Thank you to Avis Stewart” for his many years of devotion and dedicated service to Earlham College and the Wayne County area.

Bailey Concourse
Athletics and Wellness Center

Thursday, May 2, 2019
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Remarks will begin at 4:30 p.m.

In lieu of personal gifts, donations to support the Earlham Fund in his name would be greatly appreciated.

Avis Stewart, 19th President of Earlham

Avis StewartAvis Stewart has served Earlham in a variety of roles for more than three decades. He was appointed Interim President on June 27, 2018. Stewart served as Vice President for Community Relations from 2002-2015 and Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Community Relations from 2015-17. In 2017-18, he served on the President’s Cabinet as a senior adviser to the president and as a major gift officer.

Stewart’s contributions to Earlham and the communities of Richmond and Wayne County have been widely celebrated. In 2014, he received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, Indiana’s highest accolade for public service. He is also the past recipient of the Townsend Community Center President’s Award, United Way of Whitewater Valley Volunteer of the Year and Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce’s Appreciation of Service Award.

A native of Marion, Ind., Stewart came to Earlham in 1970 and was a four-year member of the Earlham basketball team and three-year member of the track team while earning his bachelor’s degree. He was inducted into the Earlham Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001. He also holds a master’s degree from Ball State University.

Avis Stewart's Service to Earlham

Following are the titles Avis has held over the years:

  • 1980-83 — Head Basketball Coach, Assistant Professor of Physical Education, and Assistant Dean of Student Activities
  • 1983-85 — Assistant Professor of Sports & Movement Studies, Head Basketball Coach, and Assistant Dean of Student Activities
  • 1985-88 — Associate Dean of Student Development and Director of Runyan Center
  • 1988-89 — Associate Dean of Student Development for Student Activities
  • 1989-94 — Director of Alumni Relations
  • 1994-95 — Regional Alumni & Development Director and Director of Special Projects
  • 1995-97 — Regional Alumni & Development Director and Director of Special Alumni & Development Programs
  • 1997-98 — Assistant Vice President for Development and Director of Special Gifts
  • 1998-99 — Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement
  • 1999-00 — Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Senior Director of Major Gifts
  • 2000-01 — Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Director of Major Gifts
  • 2001-02 — Associate Vice President of Major Gifts
  • 2002-14 — Vice President for Community Relations
  • 2015-16 — Vice President for Institutional Advancement
  • 2017-18 — Senior Major Gifts Officer
  • 2018 — Senior Adviser to the College & Senior Major Gifts Office
  • 2018-19 — Interim President

Photo Gallery

What They Say About Avis ...

“I have been watching Avis Stewart perform for almost 50 years now. My admiration is total. I watched him play basketball (mostly above the rim) on the great Earlham teams of the early 1970s. I watched him prepare for a college presidency by leading a teachers' strike at Richmond High School sometime around 1980. I watched him secure a huge gift for the Earlham Jewish Studies Program in the late 1990s. I watched him assume top administrative positions at Earlham throughout the 2000s. He did all these things with grace and dignity and quiet competence. …”

Gordon Thompson, Professor of English Emeritus


“I cannot thank you enough for taking the reins at Earlham during a challenging time in our history.  You led with a steady and very informed hand while we searched for a new president and started addressing the considerable fiscal challenges.  You have always been there.  Your steadfast loyalty and respect for Earlham's mission is palpable and commendable.  You have served in many roles and it shows in your depth of understanding about who Earlham is and where we need to go. …”

Carol (Sauers) Stange ‘74


“I think we need to send you to get certification as an electrician because it's about the only job you haven't done at EC. Thanks for your years of making Earlham a better place, and especially for your service in helping the college hold and heal in these last years. You've developed a practiced and steady hand through the years and that has been especially valuable in recent times.”

Len Clark, Provost and Academic Dean Emeritus

“Thank you so much for your long-term commitment to Earlham, and for stepping in to take leadership when it was desperately needed!  All the best to you in your retirement.”

Jane Alexander ‘79


“I will always remember your generosity and care for your players.  You were (are) a great coach with heart and with a compassionate drive to help your players do their best on the court and off the court!  I am not surprised that you are now the coach for the whole college!  Thank you for being my friend and being an important part of my life while at Earlham.”

 — Pete Manzelman ‘83
Member on basketball teams that Avis coached 1981-83


“Thank you for all you have done for Earlham over the years, and a personal thank you from me for doing so much to make my job easier next year! Your clear love of and commitment to Earlham, your unwavering focus on aligning behavior with the values laid out in Principles and Practices, your willingness to make the hard decisions - all these have set a high bar for future Earlham presidents.”

Anne Houtman, President-Elect

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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