News Center

News from the Reed College public affairs office

Search: or

Features

Campus News

Reed College Selects Oregon Attorney General John Kroger as New President


“John impressed us with his brilliance and clarity, advocacy for the primacy of the liberal arts education, and his commitment to the mission and vision of Reed College,” said Roger Perlmutter, chair of the college’s board of trustees.


Kroger

Portland, Ore (April 24, 2012)--Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has been named Reed College’s fifteenth president. He succeeds Colin Diver, who announced his plan to retire last year after ten years at the helm of the liberal arts college located in southeast Portland.

“John impressed us with his brilliance and clarity, advocacy for the primacy of the liberal arts education, and his commitment to the mission and vision of Reed College,” said Roger Perlmutter, chair of the college’s board of trustees. “We are very excited about his arrival on campus this summer.”

“Reed College is a remarkable institution with an unparalleled commitment to the life of the mind," said Kroger. "It possesses a brilliant faculty and a thoughtful, creative, highly intellectual student body. Reed has fostered independent thought and expression for more than 100 years. I am honored to join the Reed community and look forward to joining Reed’s faculty, students, staff and alumni in advancing the cause of the liberal arts education.”

Kroger, 46, was selected after an extensive national search. He met with faculty, staff, and students as part of the process, and made a strong and positive impression. Reed’s presidential search committee also interviewed dozens of Kroger’s professional colleagues.

“The committee was impressed by his commitment to diversity while at the Attorney General’s office and at Lewis & Clark Law School,” said Professor of Art Geraldine Ondrizek, who was on the search committee. “He understands the benefit a diverse faculty brings to the academic program. John had many attributes the committee admired, but one of the things that really clinched it for us was that he went to Yale on scholarship. He reminded us so much of the brilliant students we get at Reed. His education transformed his life. It made him such a believer in the type of education Reed provides.”

Approximately 50 percent of Reed students receive financial aid, with an annual average aid package of $35,990. Nineteen percent of Reed students receive Pell grants.

Kroger attended Yale University, where he received both BA and MA degrees in philosophy in 1990 after four years of study. He graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude in 1996. Kroger was selected as Harry S. Truman Scholar in 1987. He has also won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Harvard Law School, and the Aspen Institute.

Kroger has had a long and distinguished career as a public servant and educator. He was elected Attorney General in 2008 after winning the nominations of both the Democratic and Republican parties. Since taking office, he has created new units to prosecute environmental crimes, protect civil rights, and combat mortgage fraud. He has testified before Congress and argued twice before the United States Supreme Court. His second appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court earned him recognition by the National Law Journal as “Appellate Lawyer of Week.”

Prior to his election, Kroger was a tenured professor at Lewis & Clark Law School, where he taught criminal law and legal philosophy. Kroger won the law school’s Levenson Award for Teaching Excellence in 2004, 2007, and 2008.

From 1997 to 2001, Kroger served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York—serving as lead counsel in more than 200 criminal cases involving racketeering, violent crimes, narcotic trafficking, public corruption, and white-collar crimes. He wrote about his experience as a prosecutor in Convictions: A Prosecutor's Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves, which was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2008 and won the Oregon Book Award in 2009. Prior to his work as a prosecutor, Kroger served as a United States Marine and as deputy policy director of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.

Kroger is an avid runner, cyclist, and hiker. He has run Oregon's Hood-to-Coast Relay seven times and biked across the United States. Kroger’s wife, Michele Toppe, is the dean of student life at Portland State University.

###