Dr. Ken Ruscio, President Emeritus, Washington & Lee University and President, Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges
Kenneth P. Ruscio, a 1976 graduate of Washington and Lee, served as the 26th president of his alma mater from 2006 through December 2016. He became president of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges in April 2017.
A politics major at W&L, President Ruscio earned a master's degree and Ph.D. from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 1983. He returned to W&L in 1987 as dean of freshmen and assistant professor of politics. He later served as associate dean of the W&L’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics before serving as dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond from 2002 to 2006.
A leader in the world of higher education and a tireless proponent of the liberal arts, President Ruscio
- currently serves as on the board of the Council of Independent Colleges,
- is Past Chair of the Board of the American Association of Colleges and Universities,
- is past president of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership society founded at Washington and Lee in 1914,
- and is the author of numerous articles and essays and the 2004 book, “The Leadership Dilemma in Modern Democracy.”
Under his leadership over the last 10 years Washington and Lee has
- completed a $542 million capital campaign, believed to be the second largest campaign of any liberal arts institution,
- made major enhancements to the physical plant, including the renovation of the historic Colonnade and the construction of the Center for Global Learning,
- initiated important changes to student life with improvements to first-year residence life and the recent third year housing initiative, which has resulted in the construction of a new upper division village,
- engaged in curriculum enhancement with the revitalization of its Spring Term program,
- significantly grown both student financial aid and faculty salaries,
President Ruscio is married to Kimberley O’Donnell Ruscio. They have a son, Matthew, who is a 2012 graduate of St. Lawrence University.