Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bridgewater College names new president.

The Board of Trustees of Bridgewater (Va.) College announced in a special on-campus meeting earlier this week that it has unanimously selected George Cornelius as the 8th president of the college. The announcement was distributed as a press release from the college.

Described as "a seasoned leader in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors," Cornelius will assume the presidency of Bridgewater College on July 1. He currently is secretary of Community and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where he oversees a department of approximately 350 employees and 90 state and federal programs and works closely with many of Pennsylvania’s universities, colleges, and communities.

A native and lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, Cornelius has been a member of Church of the Brethren congregations at Knobsville, Mechanicsburg, and Ridgeway in Pennsylvania, and Wilmington (Del.) Church of the Brethren. For some years he was a licensed minister in Southern Pennsylvania District and Atlantic Northeast District.

"Our national search has led us to an individual of extraordinary experience, achievement, and commitment to excellence," said G. Steven Agee, Bridgewater trustee and chair of the search committee. "We are confident that the vision, enthusiasm, and leadership George Cornelius brings to the presidency will foster the values and mission of the college and continue to build a bright future."

"Bridgewater College is very fortunate to attract a person of George Cornelius’s experience and ability as its eighth president," said President Phillip C. Stone in the press release. "I am certain that George will provide great leadership to the College in the years ahead."

Cornelius is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a juris doctor degree, magna cum laude, from Penn State Dickinson School of Law. In previous positions he has been president and CEO of Arkema Inc., a chemical company based in Philadelphia with operations throughout the Americas; and has been vice president and general counsel of Atofina (predecessor to Arkema Inc.). Earlier he was a partner at Eckert Seamans Cherin and Mellott, a national law firm headquartered in Pittsburgh. His civic and community service has included leadership fundraising roles with United Way, Penn State, and various church-related teaching and leadership roles.

"The Bridgewater opportunity was attractive because it combines my passion for education and my interest and abilities in organizational leadership and development. The Church of the Brethren has played a major role in my life, so the fact that the college is grounded in the tradition and values of the church makes the opportunity even more special," commented Cornelius in the release from the college.

(This report is taken from a Bridgewater College press release by Mary K. Heatwole. Photos are available at

Source: 1/14/2010 Newsline

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