Tori Haring-Smith

Last updated
Tori Haring-Smith
President of
Washington & Jefferson College
In office
Preceded by Brian C. Mitchell
Succeeded by John C. Knapp
Personal details
Born Chicago, Illinois
Spouse(s)Robert Haring-Smith
ChildrenWhitney Haring-Smith
Alma mater Swarthmore College
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Profession Writer

Tori Haring-Smith is the former president of Washington & Jefferson College.

Washington & Jefferson College college in Washington, Pennsylvania, USA

Washington & Jefferson College is a private liberal arts college in Washington, Pennsylvania. The college traces its origin to three log cabin colleges in Washington County established by three Presbyterian missionaries to the American frontier in the 1780s: John McMillan, Thaddeus Dod, and Joseph Smith. These early schools eventually grew into two competing academies, with Jefferson College located in Canonsburg and Washington College located in Washington. The two colleges merged in 1865 to form Washington & Jefferson College. The 60 acre (0.2 km2) campus has more than 40 buildings, with the oldest dating to 1793.



Haring-Smith received a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and doctoral and master's degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As an undergraduate, she received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study abroad.

Swarthmore College Liberal arts college in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Swarthmore College is a private liberal arts college in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1864, with its first classes being held in 1869, Swarthmore was one of the earliest coeducational colleges in the United States. It was established to be a college "...under the care of Friends, at which an education may be obtained equal to that of the best institutions of learning in our country." By 1906, Swarthmore had dropped its religious affiliation and became officially non-sectarian.

Academic career

Haring-Smith was a professor of theatre and writing at Brown University for 16 years. During her time at Brown, she funded, established, and administered the Rose Writing Fellows Program, a cross-curricular writing and speaking initiative. She later served as chair of the Department of Performing and Visual Arts at the American University in Cairo.

Brown University University in Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

She returned to the United States to serve as Executive Director of the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, and then served as Vice-President for Educational Affairs and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

Dean is a title employed in academic administrations such as colleges or universities for a person with significant authority over a specific academic unit, over a specific area of concern, or both. Deans are common in private preparatory schools, and occasionally found in middle schools and high schools as well.

Willamette University private university located in Salem, Oregon

Willamette University is a private liberal arts college in Salem, Oregon. Founded in 1842, it is the oldest university in the Western United States. Willamette is a member of the Annapolis Group of colleges, and is made up of an undergraduate College of Liberal Arts and post-graduate schools of business and law. The university is a member of the NCAA's Division III Northwest Conference and was featured in Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives. Approximately 2,100 students are enrolled at Willamette between the graduate and undergraduate programs.

Salem, Oregon State capital city in Oregon, United States

Salem is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. It is located in the center of the Willamette Valley alongside the Willamette River, which runs north through the city. The river forms the boundary between Marion and Polk counties, and the city neighborhood of West Salem is in Polk County. Salem was founded in 1842, became the capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851, and was incorporated in 1857.

Presidency of Washington & Jefferson College

Haring-Smith was named as the 12th president of Washington & Jefferson College on October 17, 2005. She is also the first woman to serve as president of the college. [1] During her tenure at Washington & Jefferson College, Haring-Smith began a policy of offering "Good Neighbor" scholarships to eligible students from the seven southwestern Pennsylvania counties closest to the college and twice visited the White House to discuss college affordability issues. [2] She also launched Washington & Jefferson's Magellan Project, which provides scholarships for students to pursue independent projects abroad during the summer. [3] [4] When Haring-Smith retired, the Magellan Project had spent $1 million to fund 500 student trips. [5] During her final year, the College was also recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars. [6]

Haring-Smith led a capital campaign that raised more than $100 million for Washington & Jefferson College to support students, faculty and update campus facilities. [7] The college also shifted to buying 50% of its energy from wind farms. [8]

Wind farm group of wind turbines

A wind farm or wind park, also called a wind power station or wind power plant, is a group of wind turbines in the same location used to produce electricity. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines and cover an extended area of hundreds of square miles, but the land between the turbines may be used for agricultural or other purposes. A wind farm can also be located offshore.

As president of the college, Haring-Smith specifically criticized the U.S. News & World Report rankings system, noting that the "financial resources" portion of the rankings formula favors colleges that have higher tuition, even without providing any educational benefits, saying that this has harmed the college's ranking because it charged $5,000 to $7,000 less in tuition that its peer institutions. [9] She also questioned the "peer assessment" portion of the rankings and suggested that college presidents are rarely aware of educational improvements in their peer institutions; she noted that Washington & Jefferson College's ranking has remained the same for a number of years, even while the college made significant improvements in acceptance rates and overall selectivity, added academic programs, and constructed additional buildings. [9] Haring-Smith's criticism of the rankings spurred Bob Morse, the founder of the U.S. College Rankings system to respond to the criticisms directly in an article. [10] She signed the "Presidents Letter", a nationwide movement asking fellow college presidents to decline participation in the U.S. News & World Report reputation survey, a subjective evaluation where college administrators score their competition. [11]

She retired from Washington & Jefferson College on June 30, 2017. [12]

Personal Life

Tori Haring-Smith is married to Robert H. Haring-Smith, and together they have one son, Whitney Haring-Smith. [13] Whitney and his wife, Abigail Seldin, cited Tori Haring-Smith as their inspiration for starting College Abacus, a company that provided financial aid estimates for prospective college students. [14]

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Henry Memorial Center

The Henry Memorial Center is a multi-purpose collegiate sports complex on the campus of Washington & Jefferson College. It houses two main athletic facilities, a gymnasium and a natatorium. The Henry Memorial Center also has an auxiliary basketball gym court, two handball courts, a wrestling practice room, and a weightroom. The third floor houses coaches’ and administrative offices and the bottom floor houses the locker room facilities. The building was built in 1970 and is named after W&J graduate and long-time athletic director Pete Henry.

U. Grant Miller Library library

U. Grant Miller Library is the academic library for Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pennsylvania. With its origins tracing back to a donation from Benjamin Franklin in 1789, the collection currently hold 210,000 volumes. The Archives and Special Collections contain significant holdings of historical papers dating to the College's founding. The Walker Room contains the personal library of prominent industrialist John Walker, complete with all of his library's fixtures and furniture, installed exactly how it had been during Walker's life.

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The John A. Swanson Science Center, also known as the Swanson Science Center is an academic building on the campus of Washington & Jefferson College. It was completed in February 2010 and was named after John A. Swanson, an engineer and businessman on the Board of Trustees, who donated $10 million towards its construction. This 47,500 square feet (4,410 m2) facility houses classrooms for Chemistry, Physics, Biophysics and Biochemistry and was designed to match its neighboring historic campus architecture. Its learning facilities include wet and dry teaching laboratories, faculty and student research labs, and a multi-disciplinary lab designed for non-science majors.

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History of Washington & Jefferson College

The history of Washington & Jefferson College begins with three log cabin colleges established by three frontier clergymen in the 1780s: John McMillan, Thaddeus Dod, and Joseph Smith. The three men, all graduates from the College of New Jersey, came to present-day Washington County to plant churches and spread Presbyterianism to what was then the American frontier beyond the Appalachian Mountains. John McMillan, the most prominent of the three founders because of his strong personality and longevity, came to the area in 1775 and built his log cabin college in 1780 near his church in Chartiers. Thaddeus Dod, known as a keen scholar, built his log cabin college in Lower Ten Mile in 1781. Joseph Smith taught classical studies in his college, called "The Study" at Buffalo.

City of Washington–Washington & Jefferson College relations

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The Pet House, also known as Monroe Hall, is a residence hall at Washington & Jefferson College that allows students to live with their family pets. It has been identified as part of a growing trend of pet-friendly dormitories across the United States.

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  1. W&J: President Tori Haring-Smith Archived 2007-12-23 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Miller, Barbara. "Tori Haring-Smith, first woman president of W&J, to retire". Observer-Reporter. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
  3. "Pittsburgh CBS Local". KDKA CBS Pittsburgh. 2016. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  4. Wier, Essential Pittsburgh, Justin. "Retiring Washington And Jefferson College President Reflects On The Changing Campus". Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  5. Wier, Essential Pittsburgh, Justin. "Retiring Washington And Jefferson College President Reflects On The Changing Campus". Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  6. "W&J among top producers of Fulbright Scholars". Observer-Reporter. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  7. Miller, Barbara. "Tori Haring-Smith, first woman president of W&J, to retire". Observer-Reporter. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
  8. Miller, Barbara. "Tori Haring-Smith, first woman president of W&J, to retire". Observer-Reporter. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
  9. 1 2 Jaschik, Scott (2008-01-17). "Potemkin Rankings". Inside Higher Ed . Retrieved 2010-07-03.
  10. Morse, Bob (2008-01-17). "About That Article on Washington and Jefferson College..." U.S. News & World Report . Retrieved 2010-07-03.
  11. "Presidents Letter". Education Conservancy. 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
  12. Miller, Barbara. "Tori Haring-Smith, first woman president of W&J, to retire". Observer-Reporter. Retrieved 2019-10-06.
  13. "Abigail Seldin, Whitney Haring-Smith - Weddings". The New York Times. 2012-05-27. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-10-06.
  14. Lieber, Ron (2014-11-21). "Comparing College Costs the Easy Way". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-10-07.
Academic offices
Preceded by
G. Andrew Rembert
President of Washington and Jefferson College
Succeeded by
John C. Knapp