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Skidmore College

Philip A. Glotzbach to deliver keynote address at Denison University’s 2024 Commencement

January 16, 2024

Skidmore College President Emeritus Philip A. Glotzbach will deliver the keynote address to Denison University’s graduating class during the university’s 183rd Commencement ceremony this May.

As the author of the forthcoming book “Embrace Your Freedom: Winning Strategies to Succeed in College and In Life,” Glotzbach draws on his decades of experience in higher education to speak directly to new students about what a college education is for and what skills they will need to thrive in the 21st century work-world. He also offers advice to parents on how best to support their students in their transformative journey. 

In his keynote address to Denison’s class of 2024, titled “Don’t give up on democracy,” Glotzbach will explore a topic he also discusses in his book – new graduates’ place as informed and responsible citizens in our democratic republic. 

“Many young people today are expressing serious doubts about democracy. Though their frustration is understandable, we just don’t have the luxury of turning our back on politics or sitting out elections,” Glotzbach says.

All of us need to value our citizenship and accept our crucial role in determining our collective future.”
Philip A. Glotzbach
Skidmore College president emeritus

During Glotzbach’s 17-year tenure as Skidmore’s president from 2003 to 2020, he led major initiatives that helped to shape Skidmore into the leading liberal arts college it is today. With a focus on enhancing Skidmore’s academic programs and physical landscape, Glotzbach oversaw the transformation of Skidmore’s First-Year Experience program, the opening of Arthur Zankel Music Center and the Northwoods and Sussman apartment villages, as well as the launch of the Billie Tisch Center for Integrated Sciences, the largest single academic project in College history.

Crucial improvements to access were also made under Glotzbach’s leadership. Skidmore achieved record applications for admission, quadrupled its financial aid budget, and saw strong growth in admissions for domestic students of color, first-generation college students, and international students. Glotzbach also charted the path for Skidmore’s future through two successful 10-year strategic plans and the two most ambitious fundraising campaigns in Skidmore’s history.

Last fall, Skidmore faculty, administrators, trustees, and alumni honored Glotzbach during a panel event, “Celebrating the Era of Philip A. Glotzbach,” that coincided with the 20th anniversary of his inauguration as president in October 2003 and capped a yearlong celebration of Skidmore College’s College Centennial. 

Prior to serving as Skidmore’s president and as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and later vice president for academic affairs at the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif., Glotzbach taught philosophy at Denison University for 15 years. He also helped to launch Denison’s summer Greek studies program and was integral in creating the philosophy, politics, and economics major at the university.

Denison will recognize Glotzbach with the conferring of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during its May ceremony. Glotzbach also holds honorary degrees from Centre College and Skidmore College.

Glotzbach earned his B.A. in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in philosophy at Yale University.

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