NORTON - The Wheaton College board of trustees has appointed Babson College Provost Dennis Hanno as Wheaton’s new president, effective July 15.
Hanno, 58, also senior vice president at Babson, will be Wheaton’s eighth president in the college’s 180-year history. The trustees’ decision, made Saturday, was unanimous.
“There were many impressive and qualified candidates to lead Wheaton College,” said Thomas J. Hollister, trustee board chairman, in a press release. “During our selection process, we listened carefully to the greater Wheaton community and concluded that without a doubt Dennis has what it takes to move this school forward.”
Among the attributes that Wheaton has been known for and that the board wanted to continue to support were its historic commitment to gender equality and diversity as well as to the power of a rigorous liberal arts education, Hollister said.
“So much of Dennis’s work speaks to the values, integrated coursework, and experiential learning that make Wheaton graduates uniquely qualified to enter the 21st-century workforce,” added Hollister.
Hanno echoed that perspective in remarks included in the college’s release.
“Throughout my career, I have focused on the importance of diversity, a student-centered approach, and broadening the scope of what students study – from the arts and humanities to the social sciences and the sciences,” said Hanno. “Wheaton College is grounded in values that have inspired my life’s work, and I see tremendous possibilities ahead for this vibrant seat of higher learning. I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to build on Wheaton’s past, and to contribute to its future.”
Wheaton President Ronald A. Crutcher announced in 2013 that he was stepping down.
Hanno has held several senior leadership positions at Babson College since 2006. He is responsible for increasing the emphasis on liberal arts throughout the school’s curriculum and led the effort to integrate entrepreneurial thought and principles of socially responsible management throughout the curriculum.
Beyond the classroom, Hanno has championed initiatives to enrich students’ residential and co-curricular experiences, focusing on the campus as a 7 day a week, 24 hour a day living and learning laboratory.
Hanno also has founded and led a number of programs dedicated to education and development in Africa over the past decade, working in Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana and Tanzania.
Hanno began his career in higher education as a professor of accounting, serving first at Boston College and then at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has continued to teach courses, most recently on entrepreneurship, even as a senior leader at Babson. He also has written extensively, contributing articles and book chapters on a variety of topics related to socially responsible management practices, education and entrepreneurship.
He co-authored the book, “From Ideas to Action: A Guide for Young Entrepreneurs.”