April 21, 2022
Dear Members of the Connecticut College Community,
I am very pleased to announce that John Cramer, currently the Director of Public and Media Relations at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, will become the next Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Connecticut College. He will begin his new role on May 2.
John is a dynamic leader who brings to Conn more than three decades of experience as a journalist, writer, and spokesperson for higher education. He earned a B.A. in English Literature from Denison University and an M.S. in Journalism from Ohio University. He then built a career in journalism, where his award-winning coverage of the environment, urban affairs, social justice, and other critical issues appeared in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Roanoke Times, and other venues. His work as a foreign correspondent included coverage of military and civilian conflicts in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the former Soviet Union. He later shifted his effort to higher education, holding leadership roles at Princeton University, Dartmouth College, Johns Hopkins Medicine and Vermont Law School.
As a leader, John has demonstrated a commitment to collaborative policies and practices that result in effective decision-making and outcomes. His career in higher education has been focused on both telling compelling stories and developing strategies that will shine a spotlight on the research, teaching, and service being done by exceptional faculty, staff, and students. As the new Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Connecticut College, he will be responsible for leading our talented marketing and communications team, leveraging the College’s history of academic excellence, crafting a compelling narrative of educational excellence and impact, and developing new approaches to elevate our national reputation as a higher education leader.
John comes into this role at a critical moment for higher education, as institutions navigate increasing financial, demographic, and cultural challenges in a post-pandemic future. He arrives at a critical moment for Conn, as well, as we look to achieve the ambitious goals of the Defy Boundaries campaign. Our continued success as a college will depend on our ability to enhance our reputation for academic excellence, our distinctive educational philosophy, and the value of our unique campus community. John’s leadership skills and range of experience, combined with his creative and collaborative energy, make him the ideal person to lead this work.
I want to thank everyone who participated in the process, especially Rich Madonna, Vice President for Finance and Administration, who chaired the search, and all the committee members whose collegial good judgment led to this outcome: Andrea Wollensak, Professor of Art; Alyss Humphrey, Class of ’22; Andy Strickler, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid; Debo Adegbile ’91, chair of the Connecticut College Board of Trustees; and trustees Eric Kaplan ’85 and Pamela Zilly ’75, who currently lead the Board’s committees on marketing and communications and advancement. We owe a special debt of gratitude to Kimberly Verstandig, Vice President for Advancement, who has been ably fulfilling two leadership roles for the past ten months, overseeing both our advancement and our communications offices. I also want to thank all our staff in communications for their patience as we sought to find the right leader for our collective future.
I know John is eager to meet as many of you as possible in the coming weeks and we will be creating opportunities for that to happen after he arrives on campus next month. For now, please join me in extending our warmest welcome to him, his wife Pam Podger and their sons, Jack and Luke, to the Connecticut College community.