Dr. Marjorie Hass, provost of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has been selected to serve as the fifteenth president of Austin College. She will begin her duties on July 1, 2009.
Dr. Marjorie Hass will become the first female and first Jewish president of Austin College in 2009.
Dr. Hass is the first woman and first Jew to serve as president of the liberal arts college, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. In accepting the appointment on Saturday, Hass said, "Austin College’s values are inspiring, and I am excited about so many things about this institution and its people.”
Hass was appointed Muhlenberg’s first provost in 2004, after having served since 2003 as interim Dean of the College and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Before that, she was director of Muhlenberg’s Center for Ethics, from 2000 to 2003. Hass began her career at Muhlenberg in 1993, teaching in the philosophy department, and she earned tenure in 1998 and promotion to full professor in 2006. She specializes in the philosophy of logic, the philosophy of language, and feminist philosophy, and earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993 and her B.A. and M.A. degrees at the same institution in 1987 and 1989.
In her provost role at Muhlenberg College, Hass regularly invites Jewish students to spend Shabbat with her family at their nearby home. Hass' husband is a professor of philosophy and theatre arts and director of the Theory and Art of Magic program. Though Austin College does not have a thriving Jewish student population, Hass has said she will extend the same Friday night invitation to the campus.
“There’s no question that Austin College has hit a home run with this appointment,” said Dr. Peyton R. Helm, president of Muhlenberg College. “Margie is a brilliant and accomplished scholar, a gifted administrator and problem-solver, and a visionary leader. She has a knack for putting people at ease and for motivating them to act. She understands and respects the work of the faculty and enjoys the company of students. Most important, she is a woman of courage and integrity -- who knows what’s right and doesn’t hesitate to do it. We are going to miss Margie here at Muhlenberg, where she has accomplished so much, but she is going to be a great president for Austin College.”