A native Texan, Jake B. Schrum received his B.A. from Southwestern University and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Yale. He completed the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Southwestern University.
After starting out as a fundraiser at Yale, Schrum led advancement operations at Muhlenberg College, Texas Wesleyan University, Southwestern University and Emory University. He then served as president of Texas Wesleyan University for nine years and president of Southwestern University for thirteen years. He became president of Emory & Henry College in August 2013.
During Schrum’s nine years as president of Texas Wesleyan, the university’s endowment more than doubled (from $22 million to $50 million), the enrollment increased from 1,429 to 3,000 students, and the annual budget grew from $11 million to $32 million. A law school was acquired and fully accredited, an MBA program was launched, and a distance learning program for graduate studies was established.
During his tenure at Southwestern, Schrum led a record-setting $150 million fundraising campaign. Funds raised through the campaign enabled Southwestern to start its signature Paideia Program, which helps students integrate what they learned in the classroom with outside experiences such as civic engagement, intercultural learning, and research projects with professors. Four new Division III athletic teams were started or announced during his tenure at Southwestern – softball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and football. Schrum was instrumental in relocating the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) to Southwestern in 2009. He signed both the Talloires Declaration (an international effort to promote environmental sustainability in higher education) and the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment while at Southwestern and worked to reduce the university’s carbon footprint by emphasizing sustainability and energy efficient, LEED certified construction. In 2010, he signed an agreement with the city of Georgetown that enables Southwestern to get all of its electricity from wind power for eighteen years.
Schrum has served as board chair for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Educational and Institutional Insurance Administrators (EIIA), as well as for the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS), and the Independent College and Universities of Texas (ICUT). He has served on the boards of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the American Council on Education (ACE), the Council for Independent Colleges (CIC), and the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) Council of Presidents. Schrum currently serves as a trustee of Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Ga., and is a member of the steering committee for the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.
Schrum was recognized in 2013 with an international award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for extraordinary service to education and the field of educational advancement, which includes alumni relations, fundraising, communications and marketing.
President Schrum’s wife, Jane, is a former elementary school choral music teacher and a talented pianist who earned a bachelor’s degree from Southwestern University and a master’s degree from the Hartt School of Music. The Schrums are parents of two daughters, Libby, a furniture maker living in Maine, and Kate, who works in non-profit fundraising in Georgia.
James T. Laney served in the United States Army in Korea before completing a bachelor’s degree in economics, a master’s degree in divinity, and a doctorate in moral philosophy and Christian ethics from Yale University. An ordained United Methodist minister, Dr. Laney pastored churches in Ohio and served time as a Methodist missionary in Korea before serving on the faculty at Vanderbilt Divinity School. He became dean of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 1969, a position he held until his selection as president of Emory University in 1977.
The moral development of students, a process that includes a commitment to competence and freedom of thought, participation in an inclusive community of lifelong learning, and a focus on moral character, was a core element of his philosophy as president, according to Emory University, where he worked tirelessly to foster this vision of learning and leadership. His support was instrumental in the creation of the University’s Center for Ethics in 1991. During his sixteen-year tenure as president, the university gained national prominence and its endowment grew ten-fold.
In 1993, Dr. Laney was appointed by President Bill Clinton as United States ambassador to South Korea. He served as ambassador until 1996, then as special presidential envoy in East Asia through 1999. Dr. Laney earned the highest awards for distinguished service from both the United States and South Korea following his tour of duty as ambassador. He has served on the executive committee of the Yale University Council, and as trustee of the Henry Luce Foundation in New York, co-chair with Andrew Young of Faith and the City in Atlanta, and board member of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. He is a past director of The Coca-Cola Company and Sun Trust Georgia. He has received more than twenty honorary degrees from institutions across four continents. The Emory University graduate school, established in 1919, was named for Dr. Laney in 2009. He is married to Berta Laney and they have five children and sixteen grandchildren