Leading Higher Education Into The Future

Ensuring the value of a college education and degree in our evolving professional world remains front of mind for Alison Byerly, the first woman to lead Lafayette College. Here, we chat about her strategy for equipping Lafayette graduates to thrive after graduation, how higher education can better support the professional growth of women and the reason why you can often find her at a Lafayette tailgate.


Jessica Pliska: Your career began in the classroom teaching Victorian literature. What sparked your passion for literature?

Alison Byerly: I always loved books and always loved to read, which maybe isn’t unusual for an academic [laughs]. When I think about what I love about Victorian literature specifically, it’s that they’re all novels about people – how these people talk to and relate to each other. Exploring those sort of questions around people and the choices people make has always been of interest to me.

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