Anne E. McCall is the 13th president of The College of Wooster. Her appointment was approved by unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees following a national search led by trustees, alumni, students, staff, and faculty. McCall will begin her role as president on July 1, 2023. View the full news release and a biography of the 13th president.
McCall, currently provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Xavier University of Louisiana, is an inspirational and values-driven administrator with a track record for building innovation through inclusive excellence, dedicated teacher and mentor, and internationally recognized scholar of nineteenth-century French fiction and life writing. She will be the second woman to lead Wooster as president since its founding in 1866 and will also be a tenured professor in the Department of French and Francophone Studies.
“We knew that leading the College would present a compelling opportunity to the right candidate, and we are confident Dr. McCall embodies the formidable set of qualities embedded in the presidential job prospectus at the beginning of the search,” said Sally Staley ‘78, chair of the Board of Trustees. “She is an inspiring advocate for expanding access to higher education for all who desire it, and she’s passionately committed to the liberal arts. She was immediately drawn to the internationality of our small campus and has already begun thinking of how to further expand Wooster’s international reputation by connecting our campus to her large network of scholars and students around the world.”
McCall’s clear understanding of the fiscal sustainability challenges throughout the industry and demonstrated attention to both academic and operational excellence made her leadership track record stand out to the search committee. She was selected for her dedication to the liberal arts, research, and experiential learning; her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus and in service to the community; and her transformational leadership style. For McCall, Wooster’s mentored-research focus, diverse and global community, and commitment to providing students with applied opportunities to connect learning beyond the classroom were major draws.
“The College of Wooster stands out by the richness of the academic opportunities, including the well-known senior I.S., which requires that the entire student body—everyone!—positions itself under faculty guidance as producers of knowledge, experts who push knowledge forward rather than simply as learners,” said McCall. “Wooster’s distinguished history and reputation bear witness to the positive impact of generations of visionary, dedicated, creative, and accomplished staff, faculty, and students. I can’t wait to join this highly-charged intellectual community.”
Xavier University of Louisiana is ranked fifth among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report and first among all institutions for the number of African American graduates completing medical school and multiple Ph.D. programs. As provost, McCall oversees the development of all educational programs and enrollment for the 3,500-student campus, institutional research as well as the grants and sponsored programs office, the libraries, career services and global engagement, student academic success, and university centers and institutes focused on community outreach, advancing teaching and faculty development, equity and justice, Black Catholic studies, and health equity and research.
Xavier President Reynold Verret shared that McCall will be missed for the dedication and ingenuity she brought to the New Orleans campus. “Anne McCall has given so much to Xavier through her commitment to our students and to their education at the highest level. She has elaborated new academic programs addressing much needed representation in key disciplines and has been a steadfast advocate of the values of the academy. Yes, she will be missed at Xavier, even as we celebrate her presidency at The College of Wooster,” Verret said.
At Wooster, McCall looks forward to nurturing new and existing relationships to support domestic and international partnerships that she says will “enrich and complement the existing and developing curriculum and ensure that students from around the world feel fully part of the student community,” she said, adding, “Wooster shines for the opportunities students have to link in-class, experiential learning, career preparation, and service. And it does all of this in a close-knit community whose diversity makes it a microcosm of our country and world. Where better to learn about oneself, others, and our world than in an intimate setting in which students of different backgrounds, locations, and identities are all called upon to do this work and become themselves more fully? At our best and by our very efforts, we show the world a better way to be together.”
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Statements of Support
What excites me about Anne is her proven dedication to a student-centered experience. I think she’s a really open, welcoming, and warm person. I believe students will be really excited to go to her office and have conversations with her. I know that she’s even really excited to hopefully be an advisor for an I.S. student. I think that shows that she’s ready to be the leader for not only the Board of Trustees or for faculty or staff but to be a leader for students and to be available for students and show up to events. Being that leader and that voice that students look up to makes the Wooster experience what it is. In the past we’ve had presidents, we’ve had leaders who have been very involved with the student body and that’s something that I know that the student body is not willing to give up, and they really do want that. Anne is a person who is open, inviting, and warm. I’m confident that students will welcome her with open arms, and it will be a really great transition.”
Noah Golovan ’23, philosophy and political science major, president of Scot Council, and member of the search committee
Anne McCall has given so much to Xavier through her commitment to our students and to their education at the highest level. She has elaborated new academic programs addressing much needed representation in key disciplines and has been a steadfast advocate of the values of the academy. Yes, she will be missed at Xavier, even as we celebrate her presidency at The College of Wooster.”
Reynold Verret, president of Xavier University of Louisiana
Today, The College of Wooster’s sense that ‘Every day is a celebration of our global campus,’ has special meaning with the announcement of Anne McCall as its next president. Dr. McCall’s sense of purpose and drive are matched by a level of creativity and ability to get things done that will shape the future of the College and propel it in its next chapter.”
Gilda Barabino, Xavier University of Louisiana alumna and current president and professor of biomedical and chemical engineering at Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts
I felt an immediate connection to Dr. Anne McCall because she, and I, spell our first names the same correct way, Anne with an ‘e.’ Do allow me to take this notion of ‘Anne with an e’ a bit further. One ‘e’ that truly stands out is Dr. McCall’s wide range of experiences that she brings to The College of Wooster: 17 years of teaching experiences, followed by leadership positions at four institutions of distinction: two comprehensive nationally ranked private universities, New York state’s highest ranked public university, and the No. 3 ranked [in 2021] Historically Black Catholic University. Anne with an ‘e’ brings the ‘e’ of engagement. Dr. McCall states that impactful engagement with organizations and communities, colleges and universities, and elected officials leads to identifying areas of mutually beneficial work, to move these opportunities into realities and to build a foundation of trust for future growth. Anne with an e’s purposeful engagement and discipline of stewardship will surely ground successful relationships with faculty, staff, students, and alumni.”
Anne Wilson ’73, trustee and member of the search committee
Anne is the leader that every academic institution deserves, but only some are lucky enough to have. She is thoughtful, caring, funny, and smarter than anyone else in the room. Despite her incredible knowledge, experience, and level of responsibility, she still manages to make each person she interacts with feel seen, heard, and known on a personal level. Oftentimes, these attributes can be found at the expense of holding incredibly high expectations and demanding excellence from students and colleagues, but not for Anne. Being her student made me a better learner, a better teacher, and a better professional.”
Liz Suarez, former student and currently the chief academic officer for University Prep tuition free public charter prep schools
What excites me the most about Dr. McCall is her experience living abroad and being surrounded by different cultures. As an international student myself, having a president who understands the challenge of living outside your country is a great comfort. I believe Dr. McCall will bring a diverse perspective to Wooster along with momentum to continue improving our international campus.”
Amanda Iskin ’24, economics major and member of the search committee
Wooster has a very distinct and structured approach to its core value of shared governance and collaboration focused on the quality of experience for its students. Anne’s approach to the work of colleges and universities centers perfectly in such an environment. Her innovation leadership relies on enabling all voices and orchestrating the creative clash and confluence of ideas and strategy for the betterment of the institutional community.”
Carlton E. Brown, senior fellow and practice lead for justice, diversity, equity and inclusion at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) and president emeritus of Clark Atlanta University and Savannah State University
Anne is committed to promoting the liberal arts and a holistic education approach for every student. Her extensive fundraising portfolio and collaborative approach to shared governance is exactly what Wooster needs to thrive in the future. Anne understands the challenges ahead of us and is deeply passionate about enhancing the sense of belonging among members of our community while strengthening opportunities and support systems for students, staff, and faculty success.”
Ashley Reid, interim associate vice president of student affairs at Wooster and member of the search committee
“I am thrilled that Anne McCall is a proven leader committed to equity and diversity. Without a doubt, she will appreciate meeting our equally devoted College of Wooster faculty. The Wooster faculty are all in for maintaining an inclusive collective of staff, teachers, and students here. We are also all in for working toward a moral boost that stems from creating a careful work-life balance here, a balance that allows ample time to devote to our research agendas and to our off-campus interests.”
Leslie Wingard, dean for faculty development, professor of English and member of the search committee
Higher education is at a critical point for transformation. Anne McCall is an innovative and collaborative leader who will boost college access and ensure the next generation is prepared for their careers. I applaud The College of Wooster’s decision to appoint her as the next president.”
Kim Churches, president of The Washington Center, a firm that provides college students with immersive internships and academic seminars in the nation’s capital
Anne was selected by the search committee for her dedication to the liberal arts, research, and experiential learning; an observable commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout her work on campus and in service to the community; and her financial acumen and transformational leadership style. She is the right person for Wooster, and I look forward to the informed and innovative approach she will take to leading the future growth of our great institution.”
Peter Sundman ’81, trustee and chair of the presidential search committee
I am excited to welcome Dr. Anne McCall to campus and for her leadership to build and support a vision for the College to flourish into the future. She brings a wealth of experiences and a strong portfolio of successes at a range of institutions which allow her to have a holistic understanding of the value of and global place for the education that Wooster provides. Dr. McCall’s ability to remain an active scholar while thriving as a higher education leader demonstrates that she truly embraces and lives the values of the liberal arts.”
Sarah Sobeck, professor of chemistry, associate dean for experiential learning, and member of the search committee
We knew that leading the College would present a compelling opportunity to the right candidate and we are confident Dr. McCall embodies the formidable set of qualities embedded in the presidential job prospectus at the beginning of the search. She is an inspiring advocate for expanding access to higher education for all who desire it and she’s passionately committed to the liberal arts. She was immediately drawn to the internationality of our small campus and has already begun thinking of how to further expand Wooster’s international reputation by connecting our campus to her large network of scholars and students around the world. A clear understanding of the fiscal sustainability challenges throughout the industry and demonstrated attention to both academic and operational excellence were important components of Dr. McCall’s leadership track record that were immediately apparent to the search committee.”
Sally Staley ‘78, chair of the Board of Trustees and ex-officio member of the search committee