Blackburn College selects next president

Larry K. Lee to begin role July 1

Larry K. Lee has been selected as the next president of Blackburn College, following a comprehensive national search and the unanimous recommendation by the presidential search committee and the board of trustees. Lee will succeed Dr. Gregory J. Meyer and begin his role on July 1.

Lee currently serves as the vice president for finance and administration at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, a role he has held since 2022. Prior to that, he was the vice president of finance and administration, facilities and operations at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and also worked at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania; and University of Denver in Colorado.

He has spent
nearly 30 years in higher education and has extensive experience in financial growth initiatives, facilities operations, fundraising, athletic and recreation programs, audits and budgeting and strategic planning.

Paul Tepikian ‘77, chair of the Blackburn board of trustees, cited Lee’s remarkable career achievements and his unwavering dedication to Blackburn’s mission of providing an affordable, life-changing education for underserved students among the reasons he emerged as the best possible candidate to lead Blackburn at this crucial moment.

“Larry’s demonstrated leadership, innovation, and strategic vision position him as a catalyst to enhance our college, sustain the tremendous work and momentum our campus has generated, and help move us forward and shape Blackburn’s future,” Tepikian said. “Larry embodies a commitment to expanding access to a transformational liberal arts education, which is fundamental to Blackburn and our truly unique work program. He brings extensive administrative experience, a track record of success and a significant understanding of the challenges facing higher education today."

Lee said, “Since my first encounter with Blackburn, I have been captivated by its storied history, vibrant community and unwavering dedication to providing an affordable, rigorous education to underserved students. As a first-generation Pell-eligible student who worked on commercial fishing boats in Alaska to pay my way through college, I know first hand how hard students work to achieve their educational dreams."

Originally from Dupo, Illinois, Lee holds a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University-Pueblo and a master’s from the University of Denver. He is married to Cathy Lee, originally from Bordeaux, France. They have twin adult children, Gabrielle and Spencer.

Lee will be the 20th president in Blackburn College’s 187-year history. Founded in 1837, Blackburn College is a four-year, Presbyterian-related, co-educational liberal arts college located in Carlinville.

Got something to say?

Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Comments (0)
Add a Comment