February 09, 2021 | Office of the President

Whitney Soule (February 9, 2021)

To faculty and staff,

I am writing with mixed emotions to let you know that Whitney Soule will be leaving the College at the end of the academic year to join the University of Pennsylvania as vice provost and dean of admissions—news that is being announced at this hour at Penn.

Whitney has been a key figure in admissions at Bowdoin for more than a decade. She joined the College in 2008 as senior associate dean of admissions. A year later, she became director of admissions and then, in 2016, Whitney was named dean for admissions and student aid. She has done exceptional work as dean, increasing substantially the number of applications to Bowdoin and, in particular, the number of applications from low-income and first-generation students and students of color. She has significantly enhanced our reputation with prospective students, guidance counselors, and her peers in higher education, and has shaped our student aid practices to further realize our commitment to access. She has also had a significant impact on admissions policies across the nation through her engagement with a variety of organizations and her numerous appearances and contributions in national media outlets, including BloombergGood Morning America, National Public Radio, and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

In her new role at Penn, Whitney will have undergraduate admissions responsibility at four different schools and, as one of a small number of vice provosts, she will help shape the future of the university more broadly.

All of us at the College will miss Whitney’s tremendous impact and her many thoughtful contributions—in admissions and student aid but also in work to make Bowdoin better. And I could not be more grateful to her for her tremendous leadership and partnership over the past year. I am sad to see her go but, on the other hand, this is a remarkable opportunity for Whitney, and I am excited for her and grateful for all she has done for Bowdoin and our students.

There will be news before long on the process for identifying Whitney’s successor.

Finally, we will find a COVID-appropriate way to recognize and thank Whitney officially later in the semester. In the meantime, I know you join me in congratulating Whitney on her appointment at Penn and in thanking her for her tremendous and lasting contributions at Bowdoin.

All the best,