Georgetown College has named its first female president with the appointment of Rosemary Allen as the private school’s 26th leader.
The 193-year-old Kentucky school is Christian in identity and Baptist in heritage, formerly associated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
Allen, who has served Georgetown as provost and dean — also the first female in those roles — had been named interim president in October after the dismissal of William Jones, who was accused of sexual assault by a college employee. Now the college’s trustees have made Allen the official president.
She has served the school since 1984 and has worked with four previous presidents in various roles. A professor of English, she has taught students in the classroom and served as faculty advisor for the Fulbright Program, where she has mentored 38 grant recipients since 1990.
Nationwide, about 30% of college and university presidents are women, according to data from the American Council on Education. And those female presidents tend to serve public schools, not private schools. In 2017, Linda Livingstone became the first female president of Baylor University, also a Baptist-affiliated school.
“Rosemary Allen was the clear choice as Georgetown’s next president,” said
Georgetown trustee chairman Robert L. Mills. “Through her longstanding commitment to Georgetown — first as a faculty member and later as provost — she has demonstrated with distinction the outstanding qualities we desire in a president to lead this school.”
Allen responded: “Georgetown College has been my home, and the college community has been my family, for nearly 38 years. I will do everything in my power to protect and advance this college, and I am deeply honored by the opportunity to serve as its 26th president.”
A native of Frankenmuth, Mich., she earned a double major in English and history in the honors program at Hillsdale College, followed by both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in English literature from Vanderbilt University, with specialization in Renaissance literature.
Located in Georgetown, Ky., which is about 15 miles north of Lexington, Georgetown College enrolls about 1,100 undergraduate students and 450 graduate students for a total enrollment of about 1,560.
Since 2010, Baptist Seminary of Kentucky has been located on the campus of Georgetown College, although the two institutions are separate.