Crawford begins leadership role as UPS president

On July 1, his first day as president of University of Puget Sound, Isiaah Crawford had one priority: getting out on campus to meet as many students, faculty, and staff as he can. Ever since the campus community greeted Crawford’s appointment as president-elect in February with a resounding cheer, people have been eager to meet the distinguished psychologist, higher education leader, and former Seattle University provost.

UPS President Isiaah Crawford
University of Puget Sound President Isiaah Crawford. Credit: UPS

Crawford began his day as the 128-year-old university’s 14th president by meeting briefly with staff members in the Office of the President before joining a tour of campus for prospective students and their families. Other activities included hosting an informal gathering in Wheelock Student Center for members of the campus community, having lunch with student government leaders, and generally getting to know the campus. Spending time out of his office getting to know students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the Tacoma community is a high priority for Crawford, who intends to immerse himself in the life of the college to listen and to learn about its history and shape a vision for the future.

“I have discovered here a welcoming community of educators, scholars, researchers, artists, and innovators who exemplify the values of lifelong learning and service to community,” Crawford says. “I’m excited about the year ahead, and the work we will do together on behalf of this extraordinary college and the many communities it serves.”

Isiaah Crawford’s impressive credentials in leadership, his affinity for collaboration, and his passion for student-focused learning and liberal arts education made him a natural choice as Puget Sound’s 14th president. The first in his family to complete a college education, he brings three decades of experience in higher education to Puget Sound. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in St. Louis, Mo., he earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University and master’s and doctoral degrees from DePaul University in Chicago.

After rising through teaching and administrative roles at Loyola University Chicago—while also serving on national and regional professional, editorial, and community boards—he was recruited to Seattle University in 2008 as provost. He was named president-elect of Puget Sound on Feb. 26, 2016, succeeding President Ronald R. Thomas.

— University of Puget Sound