Janet Lape Marsden, the vice president for communications at Bennington College, joins Kenyon as vice president for communications April 3, 2017.
Marsden was selected after a national search. She has served Bennington in a number of roles since 2001. Bennington is a residential liberal arts college in North Bennington, Vermont, with an enrollment of approximately 750 undergraduate students.
“Janet’s background as a collaborative leader and a creative thinker makes her a perfect fit for Kenyon. Her attentiveness and thoughtfulness impressed the search committee, as did her passion and commitment to the value of a liberal arts education,” said Vice President for College Relations Heidi Hansen McCrory. “She will be an incredible guide for an already talented team, and I am delighted to welcome her to the Kenyon community.”
Marsden arrived at Bennington in 2001 as assistant to the president, a role she held for eight years. She also took on the role of director of communications in 2006, a position she held until late 2012, when she became vice president for communications.
“I have long admired Kenyon College and its deep commitment to liberal education, and I am inspired by President Decatur’s vision for evolving, extending and amplifying the liberal arts tradition for today’s student, and tomorrow’s world,” Marsden said.
“Kenyon has great resources in its talented body of alumni, students, faculty and staff,” she added. “I am thrilled to be adding mine to the mix.”
Marsden takes over as associate vice president for communications from Mark Ellis, who retired in July 2016. Director of New Media Patty Burns has served as interim director for communications during the search process. Marsden was selected by a committee, chaired by McCrory, that included faculty and staff from across divisions as well as representatives from the Kenyon Board of Trustees. The executive search firm Isaacson, Miller helped conduct the national search.
At Kenyon, Marsden will lead the Office of Communications, responsible for supporting admissions, advancement and College initiatives, as well as programs and events. She will be a spokeswoman for the College and will become executive editor of the award-winning Kenyon College Alumni Bulletin. Marsden also will serve as a member of Senior Staff to advise President Sean Decatur.
“Janet has a proven record of commitment to the liberal arts, and her experience will be invaluable in advancing Kenyon’s mission and priorities,” Decatur said. “I look forward to having her as an advisor.”
Marsden earned a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College in 1995. She worked for a year as a communications associate at International Paper Company before becoming managing editor of Storey Communications, a publishing division of an independent book publisher, in 1996. At Bennington, Marsden served as a key advisor to two presidents and oversaw two leadership transitions in the admissions office. She led her team to win numerous awards, including a 2015 CASE Circle of Excellence Bronze Award for poster design, a 2013 CASE District 1 Silver Award for admissions recruiting packages, and a 2012 CASE District 1 Gold Award for websites. She also led a team that was nominated for a Webby Award, the highest honor for websites, for Bennington’s 2011 website redesign.