David Wippman.
“My liberal arts experience changed everything in my life,” President David Wippman said in an interview for a recent podcast titled “What’s Your Why? – Advice from Higher Ed Leadership.” The series by the same title seeks to reveal the motivating forces behind the work of “a group of bold and visionary higher ed leaders.”

Co-sponsored by RW Jones Agency and Rankin Climate, “What’s Your Why?” is in its initial season and also includes interviews with the presidents of Colgate and Fordham Universities and Hampshire, Colorado, and Franklin & Marshall Colleges.

Wippman began the interview by pointing to his own transformative experience as an undergraduate. “I came to Princeton as a bookish, unworldly kid with limited ambitions. My liberal arts experience changed everything in my life. It opened doors for me, gave me lifelong friends, helped me think critically, read and write effectively. I want others to have that experience.”

A second motivation expressed by Wippman was to have an opportunity and a platform to speak about issues important to him in higher education, an area that is increasingly under attack.

The podcast included Wippman’s description of his path to the presidency beginning after graduation with positions as a cab driver, ski bum, and short-order cook and ultimately to law school and a more secure career path.

In closing, Wippman emphasized his desire to ensure that Hamilton students were offered transformative experiences during their time at the College and that they indeed would come to know themselves.


Help us provide an accessible education, offer innovative resources and programs, and foster intellectual exploration.

Site Search