Cockerill named WC’s 20th president


WILMINGTON — Wilmington College’s Board of Trustees selected Dr. Coreen “Corey” Cockerill as its 20th president during its winter meeting on Friday.

Cockerill, 46, served as interim president for the past 11 months. She joined the faculty 16 years ago and holds the rank of full professor of communication arts and agriculture. In recent years, she also served as area coordinator for agriculture and assistant dean of academic affairs. She will become the College’s first inaugurated female president.

Board chair Daniel Buckley expressed his “profound confidence” in sharing the news with the campus and other stakeholders on behalf of the Board of Trustees, stating that Cockerill is “uniquely qualified by education, experience and faith” to lead the College.

“Corey understands our students, our strengths and our Quaker heritage,” Buckley said, noting that, in this challenging time in higher education, the College is “well-positioned for a great future” under Cockerill’s leadership. “The excitement and optimism on campus are palpable. Corey Cockerill is the right person for our beloved Wilmington College!”

Cockerill expressed her appreciation to the board, the presidential search committee and the campus community for their faith in her leadership abilities. Like Buckley, she also sees the institution as well-positioned to navigate the turbulent waters inherent in higher education today.

“It is an incredibly important time for Wilmington College as we work collectively on a vision for the future. We are fortunate to move into this space, inspired and with wheels already in motion,” she said. “With all the challenges facing higher education today, we’ve had great success finding paths forward simply by asking the question, ‘What is in the best interest of Wilmington College and its students?’ Our mission and core values give us focus.”

Indeed, Cockerill alluded to the motto engraved on the cornerstone of WC’s historic Marble Hall. “We are truly ‘built by students.’ We place the student experience at the center of everything we do.”

Trustee J. Brent Bill, who chaired the search committee, said the College’s national search resulted in 50 applicants from all over the country. The committee selected four candidates for interviews after careful consideration of each applicant and following Quaker business process. They considered Cockerill’s interview, application letter, credentials and experience at Wilmington College before “discerning” her as the best candidate.

“Working with the Presidential Search Committee, which was representative of various College constituencies, was an example of Wilmington College at its best,” Bill said. “As the search progressed, and after much careful deliberation, the committee was pleased to recommend Corey Cockerill as the next president of Wilmington College.”

Cockerill came to WC in 2008 after serving four years as wildlife communications coordinator with the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife. She has a Ph.D. in environmental sociology, communication and policy, a master of science degree in rural and environmental sociology and a bachelor of science degree in agricultural communications, all from Ohio State University.

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