Wellesley College President Kim Bottomly (a.k.a. KBot) announced Friday that she will step down as president in July 2016, passing the baton to whoever comes next to lead the school during the rest of its big 2025 campus renewal project. She joined the college in 2007 as Wellesley’s 13th president, bringing with her a biology and zoology background at a time of rising interest in STEM education. Bottomly received her education at the University of Washington, and worked at Yale for 27 years before coming to Wellesley.
Most recently, Bottomly has made headlines for the school’s opening of its doors to transgender students. During her tenure the school has bolstered its technology infrastructure and educational offerings, established the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs, worked more closely with Babson and Olin College, and built an endowment of $1.8B.
Bottomly issued a memo about her planned departure to the college community that in part reads:
Since my arrival in 2007, our community has risen to major challenges—securing our financial footing after the historic recession of 2008 and embracing the complexities of diversity, academic freedom, and civil discourse. In an era of economic constraint, we have inaugurated ambitious plans and initiatives that have fortified Wellesley’s foundational strengths as a great liberal arts college and the world’s leading women’s college and that will position the College for leadership in the years ahead.