An Indiana native and Indiana University graduate whose child recently attended Earlham College has been chosen as its next leader.

As of Aug. 1, Paul Sniegowski, a distinguished biologist and the Stephen A. Levin Family Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at University of Pennsylvania, will become president of Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion.

“Paul has been impressive and thoughtful in his excellent career as a faculty member specializing in evolutionary genetics and as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania,” said Earlham Board Chair Tom Thornburg, a 1984 graduate, in a news release. “He is a strong researcher, a frequently honored teacher and much appreciated academic leader. His work as a faculty member and leader resonates with Earlham’s mission and Principles and Practices. He and his wife, Gail Kienitz, bring to us the knowledge of recent Earlham parents as well.”

Paul Sniegowski becomes president of Richmond’s Earlham College on Aug. 1. Supplied photo

Sniegowski and Kienitz, a former associate professor of English at Wheaton College in Illinois, are parents to 2023 Earlham graduate Ben Kienitz Sniegowski. Ben’s sister, Emma, is a 2018 Kenyon College graduate.

The couple — along with their golden retriever, Willa — say they look forward to deepening their engagement on campus and in Richmond.

“We are coming to Earlham because we want to be a part of this community,” Sniegowski said in the release. “We want to help make this evermore a place where, once you’re here, you don’t want to leave.”

Sniegowski succeeds Anne Houtman, who will retire in July after what Earlham officials describe as a successful five-year term as president.

“Earlham has an important and longstanding place within the distinctive liberal arts tradition in the United States,” Sniegowski said. “It is a place that brings together a diversity of people to explore ideas, to learn to think and to go out and contribute to the world for good. Serving that ideal, and serving Earlham’s students and faculty, is why I am so excited to become part of the community.” 

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A version of this article appeared in the April 17 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.