Presidential Transition Announcement

December 05, 2019
In August 2010, Grinnell College welcomed Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., as its 13th president. Since then, he has served with great dedication and devotion, and has worked tirelessly to make Grinnell ever better. Now, almost a decade later, President Kington will leave Grinnell College at the conclusion of this academic year in order to become the new Head of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
 
Phillips Academy, better known as Andover, was founded in 1778. It is the oldest incorporated boarding school in the United States and among the most prestigious university-preparatory schools in the country. Andover counts numerous U.S. and world leaders among its alumni, including two American presidents and five Nobel Prize laureates. Admission to the school is highly selective; it enrolls approximately 1,100 students in grades 9-12.  
 
Much like Grinnell, Andover's legacy of academic excellence serves an intentionally diverse, inclusive academic community. Through a need-blind admission process, it welcomes students from 43 states and 52 countries. Its values are guided by the ideal of non sibi ("not for self"), with a sense of responsibility toward the global community and natural world.
 
Phillips Academy and Grinnell College have a shared history: all of the founders of Grinnell, "the Iowa Band," were graduates of Andover Theological Seminary, which shared a board of trustees and campus with Phillips Academy for 100 years until the theological seminary discontinued operating as an independent institution in 1908. The band members met on what is now the Phillips Academy campus to decide that they would head for the Iowa Territory when they completed their studies. Phelps House on the Phillips Campus, now the home of the academy Head, was originally built as a home for an Andover Theological Seminary professor.
 
President Kington will become the 16th Head of School at Andover. This is both a tremendous professional opportunity and a chance for President Kington's family to return to the East Coast, where he was raised. President Kington and his husband, Peter T. Daniolos, M.D., a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, have two sons.
 
Throughout his years at Grinnell, President Kington has modeled a commitment to strategic and inclusive leadership as well as clear, thoughtful, and fair decision-making processes. His personal and professional lives have been rooted in a deep commitment to social responsibility. A priority of his tenure has been strengthening the connection between academic excellence in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social studies, as well as graduates' ability to go into the world and transform it.
 
President Kington promoted innovation and entrepreneurship on campus, creating the Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize and the Innovation Fund. He championed the development of a Center for Careers, Life, and Service, ensuring that Grinnellians are well prepared to thrive in their lives after college. He helped lead us in investing nearly $140 million in campus renewal to provide Grinnell students with the best of 21st-century educational opportunities. 
 
President Kington strengthened ties to the city of Grinnell and throughout the Midwest region through initiatives such as AmeriCorps and programming for public school children. Since 2013, investments in the "Zone of Confluence," where campus and downtown come together, have focused on a process for revitalizing this gateway district in an intentional way through joint redevelopment projects and selected land-banking of under-utilized properties.
 
Among President Kington's most important accomplishments have been increasing diversity and inclusion efforts on campus, and providing greater access to education. He has been at the forefront of our commitment to need-blind admission and to meeting 100% of students' demonstrated financial need. He has done so while encouraging philanthropic growth and good stewardship of the College's financial resources.
 
This spring, we can look forward to finding fitting ways to recognize President Kington's accomplishments and the lasting impact he has had on our academic community. We also will honor Dr. Daniolos's significant contributions to the College, including his service as president of the Ladies Education Society, the College's oldest surviving organization which awards scholarships to graduating women; as a member of the Grinnell College Museum of Art advisory board; and, as a mentor to students, especially those interested in health and sciences careers. And we will take time to celebrate with them and their family as they embark upon an exciting new chapter in their lives.
 
Grinnell College is a better place thanks to President Kington's leadership, and we are grateful for the position of strength in which he leaves us. We have great confidence that we are well positioned to attract his successor, ensuring that Grinnell College's upward trajectory continues with new, visionary leadership that both celebrates and builds upon President Kington's legacy. In the near future, we will share details of how that search will be conducted.
 
For now, we will take a moment to absorb this news and to be thankful for all that President Kington has done for and meant to Grinnell. And like true Grinnellians, we will in turn recommit ourselves to our enduring mission of graduating "individuals who can think clearly, who can speak and write persuasively and even eloquently, who can evaluate critically both their own and others' ideas, who can acquire new knowledge, and who are prepared in life and work to use their knowledge and their abilities to serve the common good."
 
On behalf of all of our Trustees, I want to say how profoundly grateful we are for President Kington's many years of leadership and service.
 
Sincerely,
 
David Maxwell '66
Chair, Grinnell College Board of Trustees
 

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