President Kathryn McClymond, Ph.D.

Dr. Kathryn McClymond, seated in Cousins Center
President, Kathryn McClymond, Ph.D.

The Oglethorpe University Board of Trustees voted unanimously during its fall meeting Nov. 9-10 to approve Dr. Kathryn McClymond as the institution’s 18th president, removing “interim” from her title effective immediately.

“The trustees recognized that Dr. McClymond is the right choice at the right time to lead Oglethorpe,” said Board Chair Tammy Pearson, Oglethorpe class of ’86 and Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Chick-fil-A.

“I look forward to leading the university during the transition, and I appreciate the support of the trustees, the university’s leadership, faculty, staff and students. The strategic plan outlined six priorities that will serve as our roadmap. The future of Oglethorpe is bright, and it is a privilege to serve the university.”

Dr. Kathryn McClymond

As Oglethorpe’s chief academic officer and a member of the president’s senior administrative leadership team, Dr. McClymond oversaw all academic functions of the university, including academic divisions, the Core curriculum, Philip Weltner Library, the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, and the offices of the Registrar, Student Success, and Institutional Effectiveness.

She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard University. Dr. McClymond is a historian of religions, trained in Hinduism and Judaism, with a research emphasis on comparative religious ritual. She is the author of “Beyond Sacred Violence: A Comparative Study of Sacrifice” (Johns Hopkins University Press) and, most recently, “Ritual Gone Wrong: Case Studies in Ritual Disruption” (Oxford University Press), which examines ritual mistakes, sabotage, and disruption and their significance for ritual theory. Her recent research projects focus on religious rituals as a pathway to recovery for combat veterans, and ritual expressions in art quilts.

Dr. McClymond is a member of the American Society for the Study of Religion and has served on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Religion. She chaired the AAR’s Futures Task Force, a three-year initiative identifying opportunities for innovation and growth in the professional organization. Dr. McClymond has received several awards for her work, including a Distinguished Honors Professor Award, an Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Arts & Sciences at Georgia State University, and the American Academy of Religion’s Ray L. Hart Service Award.

Prior to Oglethorpe, Dr. McClymond was Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs in the College of Arts & Sciences at Georgia State University, where she was a faculty member for 22 years, a Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and department chair for nine years. Dr. McClymond led faculty and staff teams to advance program growth, academic strategic planning, student support, and faculty development and mentoring. She also directed ongoing faculty recruitment, retention, and recognition efforts.