Announcing Trinity's 22nd President

Dear Members of the Trinity Community:

Today, I have the great honor of sharing with you the outcome of our presidential search. On Tuesday, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to elect Joanne Berger-Sweeney, Ph.D., the 22nd president of Trinity College. An accomplished teacher, scholar, neuroscientist, and administrator, Dr. Berger-Sweeney currently holds the position of dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

At 1:30 p.m. today in the Washington Room in Mather Hall, Dr. Berger-Sweeney and her family will greet members of the Trinity community. I hope you will be able to attend this exciting and historic event for the College and join us in welcoming her to Trinity. For those unable to be present, you can watch the event via live webcast at and share your congratulations on Twitter using the hashtag #TrinPrez. 

We are an institution that honors our traditions and is prepared to embrace our future, now and as we move forward to the celebration of our bicentennial in 2023. We are confident that Joanne Berger-Sweeney is the right leader for Trinity. She is a world-class educator and scientist, who during her career has run a lab committed to Alzheimer’s research. As dean of Tufts’ School of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Berger-Sweeney is an accomplished administrator who knows the NESCAC well, manages a $311 million annual budget, and oversees a school of 5,000 students and a 385-member faculty. She is a collaborative innovator with a student-centric focus. She values our position in Hartford, recognizing it will be a key element in defining our future. From her vantage point at Tufts, she appreciates our strong athletic tradition in NESCAC and understands our historical Greek tradition, having worked closely with the fraternities and sororities at her current institution. She is a manager with a broad portfolio of responsibilities, including oversight of undergraduate admissions, athletics, undergraduate and graduate students, the graduate school, communications, and academic and administrative deans.

Before Tufts, Dr. Berger-Sweeney was a member of the Wellesley College faculty, which she joined in 1991 as an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, and rose through the ranks to become the Allene Lummis Russell Professor in Neuroscience. Her teaching and research career at Wellesley spanned 13 years prior to being named associate dean in 2004.

She received her undergraduate degree in psychobiology from Wellesley College, an M.P.H. in environmental health sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in neurotoxicology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She completed her postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Health (INSERM) in Paris, France.

The first African American and first woman to be elected president of Trinity, Dr. Berger-Sweeney will succeed President Jones on July 1, 2014, following his 10 years of distinguished service to our College.

I encourage you to read more about this accomplished and distinguished academic leader and to hear about her enthusiasm for Trinity, our traditions, and our future on our Web site at If you would like to offer congratulations to Dr. Berger-Sweeney, you can send an e-mail to

As you know, this search process was an extensive one, garnering more than 50 extremely qualified applicants from inside and outside academia. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the members of the committee, who dedicated many hours and much thoughtful consideration to this important task. I also offer sincere thanks to the entire Trinity community–your engagement in the process, your willingness to offer insight and opinion, and your love for Trinity have been tremendous assets through every stage of this search. Because of the work of the committee and the passion of our community, I believe we have found the ideal leader to advance the College toward its 200th year.

I am honored and excited to begin my tenure as chair of the Board of Trustees at the same time Dr. Berger-Sweeney assumes her leadership as president of Trinity College.


Cornelia Parsons Thornburgh ’80

Chair, Presidential Search Committee