SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - In a time of uncertainty in higher education, Shippensburg University is looking ahead to the future – and it will have a new president leading the way soon.
On Thursday morning, the school community gathered in the Old Main Chapel to welcome Laurie Carter as Shippensburg’s 17th president. Currently the executive vice president of Eastern Kentucky University, she will officially begin her duties as president on August 7.
It’s a homecoming of sorts – she graduated from what is now Clarion University of Pennsylvania, also in the state’s public higher education system.
“The system gave a lot to me, and I’m very interested in giving a lot back,” Carter said.
A first-generation college student herself, she will come to a university that has a large portion of students who are the first in their family to go to college.
“If you don’t have that first-gen background, it’s hard to understand someone who really comes to college completely unaware, and without the family who is aware,” Carter added. “So I have that perspective, and I think it will be very helpful.”
Carter was a unanimous pick by the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, who all think she’s up to the challenge.
“She was right up at the top when it came to higher education, along with her care for students – and particularly, care for athletics,” said Michael Schaul, chair of the Council of Trustees at Shippensbug University.
Even though Carter said support for higher education is shrinking nationally, she has high hopes for her new school.
“Shippensburg is primed for greatness.”