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Trustee: Lawrence “Larry” Schall

Spelman Trustee Larry SchallPresident of the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
B.A., Swarthmore College
J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
Spelman College Board of Trustees: Elected in 2020
City of Residence: Marblehead, Massachusetts

Lawrence M. Schall, J.D., Ed.D., assumed the role of president of the New England Commission of Higher Education on July 20, 2020. The NECHE is the regional accrediting body for 222 institutions of higher education in the six New England states and 11 American-style institutions in other countries. Prior to NECHE, Schall was elected the 16th president of Oglethorpe University in March 2005 and assumed office on June 23, 2005. He was the longest-serving sitting university president in Georgia, and following 15 years of service, he ended his tenure on June 30, 2020.

Under Schall’s leadership, Oglethorpe entered an era of growth and innovation. The university nearly tripled net assets while reducing total debt by more than half. It also nearly doubled annual revenues, increased the endowment by 159%, grown enrollment by 65%, established strategic entrepreneurial partnerships, and experienced historic levels of philanthropic giving with more than $150 million raised since Schall took office.
Oglethorpe completed the largest fundraising campaign in its history in 2015, raising $50.2 million and surpassing its goal two years ahead of schedule. It was followed soon after by a $21.6 million campaign for the I.W. “Ike” Cousins Center for Science and Innovation, which opened in 2019 and was completed successfully in just eleven months — ahead of schedule and under budget. In 2017, Oglethorpe received a $50 million gift commitment — the largest gift in the university’s history and the largest to a liberal arts school -- from alumnus Bill Hammack, retired CEO of CW Matthews. The gift was given to establish a school of business, the Q. William Hammack, Jr. School of Business, and opened in the fall of 2019.

Since 2013, Oglethorpe also has seen the addition of a new residential complex with 6,000 square feet of state-of-the-art classrooms; the expansion of its arts and athletics facilities; the launch of global campuses in Barcelona, Paris, and Rome; and the opening of the award-winning Turner Lynch Campus Center, home to the Atlanta Laboratory for Learning (A_LAB). An incubator for experiential learning, the A_LAB helps students map their journey of real-world experiences combining internships, study abroad, civic engagement, and undergraduate research — on campus, in Atlanta, and around the globe.

Schall has written for The Huffington Post and his personal blog. Featured in The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and on NPR, CNN, and Bloomberg News, he has received national attention for his leadership on issues affecting the lives of college students, perhaps most notably co-founding College Presidents for Gun Safety. Schall has also been a staunch advocate for DACA students -- “Dreamers.” In February 2019, Oglethorpe became the first college or university in Georgia to partner with TheDream.US to offer scholarships to qualified immigrant students.

Born in Manhattan, New York, Schall grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. He graduated with honors from Swarthmore College in 1975 and went on to earn his Juris Doctor degree in 1978 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Schall practiced law in Philadelphia as a trial attorney, specializing in civil rights litigation. In 1990, he returned to his alma mater, Swarthmore College, and served for 15 years, leaving as vice president for administration.

While at Swarthmore, Schall was awarded a doctorate in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania and served as director of the Executive Doctorate Program in Higher Education as well as an adjunct faculty member of Penn’s Graduate School of Education.

Schall serves on the board of the East Lake Foundation, following six years as chair; and on the executive committees of the Georgia Independent College Association, Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education, and Council on International Educational Exchange. He also is currently working pro bono for the Georgia Justice Project. Previously, he served as chair of the DeKalb Ethics Board, board chair of Project GRAD, and on the board of the Lovett School.

Schall was named to Atlanta Business Chronicles’ list of "Most Admired CEOs of 2019" and "Most Influential Atlantans of 2017 and 2018." He and his wife, Betty Londergan, have four children.


Why I Serve on the Spelman College Board of Trustees

As president of nearby Oglethorpe University for 15 years, I’ve long been an admirer of the extraordinary accomplishments of Spelman graduates and the succession of strong leaders of the College. It’s an honor to serve Spelman College as a member of the Board of Trustees.