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Bryn Mawr College Names Wendy Cadge 10th President

April 9, 2024
Bryn Mawr College President-Elect Wendy Cadge

Wendy Cadge, a sociologist and national expert in contemporary American religion, has been selected by the Bryn Mawr College Board of Trustees to serve as the College’s 10th president, effective July 1. 

Currently the dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science and Barbara Mandel Professor of the Humanistic Social Sciences at Brandeis University, Cadge is the author of three books and more than 100 scholarly articles. At Brandeis, she has centered the graduate student experience by rebuilding and expanding student professional development, collaborating to strengthen degree programs, and advancing the graduate school’s anti-racism plan. She built Brandeis’ first Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Collaboration to expand and make accessible research opportunities for all undergraduates, led the Division of Social Sciences, and chaired the Brandeis Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Program. She served as a faculty representative to the Board of Trustees and chaired the Faculty Governance Task Force, a three-year initiative to strengthen faculty’s role in shared governance. 

Bryn Mawr’s unique combination of undergraduate liberal arts for women and coeducational graduate programs was a draw for Cadge. "I believe the liberal arts change lives, and their influence does not stop with a bachelor’s degree,” said Cadge. “My work in higher education brings undergraduate and graduate students together with faculty and staff to teach and learn, grow and collaborate, nurture and celebrate. Bryn Mawr’s remarkable commitment to undergraduate and graduate students, academic excellence, and preparing all of us for lives of purpose is the reason I am coming here." 

Board of Trustees Chair Cynthia Archer ’75 believes that Cadge is uniquely suited to be Bryn Mawr’s next president.  

“Wendy stood out in a rich field of remarkably talented candidates,” said Archer. “She is a creative and entrepreneurial scholar and a brilliant educator whose work and life beautifully align with Bryn Mawr’s mission.  Her clear intellect, innate collegiality, perceptive listening, and compelling energy make her an inspiring choice.  I am confident that she will combine forces with our exceptional community to lead Bryn Mawr to new heights of vibrancy and excellence.” 

“Wendy has made lasting contributions to Brandeis,” said Brandeis University President Ron Liebowitz. “In addition to her own scholarship, her noted mentorship of young scholars will extend through their careers in the academy and elsewhere. I congratulate Wendy and welcome her to the ranks of college and university presidents.”

A public intellectual, Cadge launched the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab in 2018 to advance the work of chaplains in providing innovative spiritual care and support to the public and frequently works with the media and community partners on related topics. In addition to its academic rigor, Cadge was drawn to Bryn Mawr by its commitment to equity and inclusion as the engine for excellence and the community’s commitment to one another. 

“So many students and fellow faculty at Brandeis have benefitted from Wendy’s leadership in the classroom, in the field, and in academic administration,” said Brandeis University Provost Carol Fierke. “I know her keen intellect, dedication to students, and administrative expertise will serve the Bryn Mawr community well.”

Bryn Mawr College, a flourishing, diverse liberal arts educational community, has been dedicated to the highest academic standards since its founding in 1885. The first women’s college to offer a Ph.D. education in the United States, 96% of undergraduate students are employed or engaged in graduate study, fellowships, or other professional opportunities. Bryn Mawr has been a top producer of Fulbright U.S. Student Program participants for the past five years and is #2 for research among liberal arts colleges, according to a 2023 Washington Monthly magazine ranking.

The College’s Board of Trustees launched a national search for Bryn Mawr’s 10th president in May 2023. The search committee, comprised of 16 Bryn Mawr community members and one Haverford College Board of Managers representative, was chaired by trustee Amy Loftus, ’90, and trustee Cecilia Conrad served as vice-chair. Since the search’s launch, the committee has led more than 20 inclusive community listening sessions and reviewed more than 400 nominations for consideration, supported by executive search firm Spencer Stuart. 

Loftus said, “We are delighted in our selection of Wendy Cadge as Bryn Mawr’s 10th President. In a field of tremendous candidates, Wendy impressed our committee as a bold and creative leader and scholar who is deeply committed to student and faculty excellence and embodies inclusivity at her core. We look forward to Wendy’s leadership of this extraordinary community of students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i to build on Bryn Mawr’s rich history of success.”

Vice-chair Conrad said, “We are thankful to everyone who contributed to the search process - those who completed surveys, participated in listening sessions, and submitted nominations. From an amazing pool of candidates, Wendy Cadge emerged as the entrepreneurial leader for Bryn Mawr’s future.”

Undergraduate student Adalia Rodriguez, a senior who was one of two student members of the search committee, said, "Wendy is an incredible listener and collaborator. When it comes to innovation or solving an issue, she will always work with the community to find the best approach, even if she has many of her own ideas.  I'm extremely excited to see how Bryn Mawr will be elevated to new heights under her leadership!"

Faculty Chair Catherine Conybeare, one of four faculty search committee members, is the Leslie Clark Professor in the Humanities and Chair of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies.  "We are so fortunate to have attracted Wendy Cadge as our next president. She is a brilliant systemic and creative thinker and believes passionately in the power of a liberal arts education to transform lives," said Conybeare. "She also prizes Bryn Mawr's unique standing as a liberal arts college that includes a number of serious graduate programs."

Staff representative David Consiglio said, “Wendy Cadge is an exceptional combination of attributes that make her the right person to lead Bryn Mawr into the future.  I was immediately drawn to her intellect, the creativity of her ideas, and her ability to grasp the essence of issues and see the opportunities they present. Her dedication to women’s education and genuine interest and concern for each community member is abundantly clear. I could not be happier that she will be our next president.”

Cadge succeeds Bryn Mawr’s ninth president, Kim Cassidy, who will transition out of the role at the conclusion of her second term in June 2024 after serving 11 years as president. After a sabbatical, she will return to teach within the College’s psychology department faculty.

Located on a beautiful residential campus just outside of Philadelphia, Pa., Bryn Mawr’s undergraduate college attracts women who share a strong commitment to intellectual inquiry, an independent and purposeful vision of their lives, and a desire to make a meaningful contribution to the world. Two distinctive coed graduate schools, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, along with a post-baccalaureate premedical program, enrich the College community and offer opportunities for advanced study. 

To learn more about Cadge and the presidential search, visit the Bryn Mawr College website. Email us at for media inquiries.