1937 - 2021

Dale Rogers Marshall Becomes Sixth President

Dale Rogers Marshall was inaugurated as Wheaton’s sixth president in 1992.

President Marshall, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, earned her bachelor’s degree, with high honors, in government from Cornell University in 1959. She received a master’s degree in political science from UC Berkeley, where she studied as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. She earned a Ph.D. in 1969 from UCLA, where she held a Regents Fellowship.

Prior to her presidency at Wheaton, President Marshall was academic dean of Wellesley College from 1986 to 1992 and was appointed acting president for one year in 1987. She served as associate dean of the College of Letters and Sciences and as faculty assistant to the vice chancellor at the University of California, Davis. She also was a political science professor at the University of California, Davis, and taught at UC Berkeley and UCLA.

President Marshall was an accomplished author and editor. She co-wrote Protest is Not Enough: The Struggle of Blacks and Hispanics for Equality in Urban Politics (UC Press, 1984). The study won two prestigious American Political Science Association prizes for the best book on American policy and the best book on ethnic relations. She also co-edited Racial Politics in American Cities (Longman Pub Group, 1990, first edition).

President Marshall chaired the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts and the American Council on Education’s Leadership Commission; was elected to the National Academy of Public Administration in 1987; and became a member of the board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in 1996. She also served on several boards, including for Cornell University, the New England Zenith Fund of the New England Mutual Life Insurance Company and the American Student Assistance Guarantor.

At her inauguration, trustees urged Marshall to “heed the proud history of Wheaton College, recognizing the promise of the future in the strengths of the past.” She was charged with engaging the whole of the Wheaton community — students and their parents, alumni, faculty, staff members and friends — in articulating and pursuing the mission of the college. Toward that end, a strategic planning effort began in the fall of 1992 to identify and prioritize goals for the coming decade, and resulted in the adoption of a plan, Excellence and Equilibrium: Wheaton in the 21st Century, for ensuring the institution’s strength for the future.

Central to the plan was the Campaign for Wheaton, successfully concluded in June 2000 with $90 million in support for the college. The final total created more than 70 new student scholarship funds, 12 new endowed faculty chairs, new programs such as the Davis International Fellows program and the Jane E. Ruby Lecture Series and several new facilities. The campaign was capped by the construction of Mars Arts and Humanities, renovation of Meneely, and the renovation of Watson Fine Arts Center.

During Marshall’s tenure, Wheaton students regularly won prestigious national awards, including Fulbright, Madison and Rhodes scholarships. Marshall’s presidency marked a re-commitment to the Global Awareness Program and emphasis on our multicultural world. The infusion of multicultural issues is a hallmark of Wheaton’s new curriculum. The Marshall Center for Intercultural Learning was dedicated to Marshall on April 15, 2005.

While leading Wheaton, President Marshall remained active as a scholar, political scientist and faculty member, regularly teaching and writing in her field of concentration, urban politics. She was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served as vice president of the American Political Science Association and president of the Western Political Science Association.

Her presidency also marked a re-commitment to the college’s Global Awareness Program and emphasis on multiculturalism. Her commitment to diversity and social justice enabled the college to recruit a diverse and exceptional group of scholars to join the Wheaton faculty, and to institute new programs aimed at increasing diversity on campus. In April 2005, Wheaton honored her by naming the Marshall Center for Intercultural Learning in recognition of her commitment to diversity.

When President Marshall announced her resignation at Wheaton, Patricia A. King, Class of 1963, chair of the Board of Trustees at the time, expressed personal appreciation for Marshall’s guidance. “She has been a very skillful, collaborative leader who understands how to build consensus and inspire others to commit themselves to the college’s advancement.”

Marshall was awarded an honorary degree in 2004.