News Archive

Board of Trustees Names Ninth President

John Klein begins term in August.

6/13/2007 10:38:23 AM


John E. Klein (enlarge)

LYNCHBURG — The Board of Trustees unanimously named John E. Klein as the College's ninth president Wednesday. Klein, who currently serves as Executive Vice Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis, will officially begin his term at Randolph College in August.

The Presidential Search Committee, which consists of faculty, students, staff, trustees, alumnae, and administration, began its work in the fall of 2006. The exhaustive and highly competitive national search included more than 100 applicants.

The committee unanimously recommended Klein to the Board of Trustees, citing his wealth of experience in leadership, educational administration, business, and fund-raising, as well as his international background and lifelong interest in young people.

"John Klein brings a broad array of credentials to this position," said Lucy Hooper '73, president-elect of the Board of Trustees. "He clearly recognizes and appreciates the history and caliber of our academic program and the many things that make this College unique, particularly our deep commitment to women’s education. He has strength in business and management, but he is so much more than that. He fully appreciates the value of a liberal arts education and is himself a supporter of the arts.

"When you add his credentials and global view to the institution's strengths and goals, you understand why we are so optimistic and excited about our prospects for a bright future," Hooper added. "His background and passions mesh well with our strengths. He is a natural fit for this position and for this College at this pivotal moment in our history."

A graduate of Princeton University, Klein began his career as a teaching fellow at International College in Beirut, Lebanon. He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and practiced law with the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City. He then began a highly successful 28-year international business career with Bunge North America, Inc., a global agribusiness company. Klein became CEO of Bunge North America at age 39 and served in that position for 18 years. During his business career, Klein worked and lived in Belgium, Holland, London, Argentina, and Brazil as well as the United States.

At Washington University in St. Louis, Klein serves as the university's chief operating officer overseeing most non-academic activities including finance, facilities, human resources, information technology, and real estate. In addition, he manages special projects for the chancellor.

"I am very excited about becoming the ninth president of Randolph College," Klein said. "It is a very special place with an impressive past and great prospects for the future. Admitting men this fall will be a new experience for everyone; however, we will not forget this College's long history and commitment to women's education. I will work to build on the very real sense of community that exists at the College, on the excellence of its academic programs, faculty, and students, and on the global diversity of its student body and programs."

Klein's commitment to civic activities underscores his interest in his community. He has been particularly involved in education and the arts and has been a strong fund-raiser for many of the organizations that he has served. He was an active board member of the two secondary schools his children attended in Connecticut and St. Louis. With a lifelong interest in art, Klein and his wife Susan are members of the American Art Forum of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, are Bryant Fellows of the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and have each served on the board of the St. Louis Art Museum. Klein was a founding director of the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis and a long-term fund-raiser for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He is a life trustee of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations