About Wabash The 16th President of Wabash College
Center Hall 108
Follow President Hess on Twitter: @PrezHess
Dr. Hess has thoughtfully articulated the value of a liberal arts education for men, while leading the College through strategic planning processes that will shape the course of the institution through its 200th anniversary in 2032.
President Hess has launched four co-curricular “WabashX" initiatives in Democracy and Public Discourse, Digital Arts and Human Values, Global Health, and the Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship. He has also partnered with Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton on executing several “Stellar Communities” projects, including the innovative Fusion54 co-working space in the heart of downtown.
He serves on the Campaign Executive Cabinet for “Giant Steps: A Campaign for Wabash College,” a $225 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, which went public November 9, 2018 with over $150.9 million raised in the Leadership Phase. Hess helped secure a $40 million gift from Paul and Betty Woolls, which is the largest single gift in the College’s history. The Campaign will focus on bolstering the College’s endowment for scholarships, faculty, and academic programs, and strengthen Wabash’s immersive learning and internship programs.
In 2018, Hess began an effort to rebrand the College — the first inclusive strategic marketing work ever undertaken by Wabash. And he is led Wabash through a significant master planning process, which examined all aspects of campus and academic life, as well as infrastructure, to guide the College's management of its physical campus through 2032.
He has led Wabash through extensive assessments of every administrative office on campus.
In August 2016, the College completed a $23 million investment in student housing, including 130 beds in six buildings in the Residential Life District and a massive renovation of the College's flagship residence hall, Martindale.
Under his leadership, the College has eclipsed $3 million for its Annual Fund in every year of his presidency, and more than 43% of alumni made a gift to the Annual Fund in fiscal 2018. He led an 18-month effort to plan the course of philanthropy for Wabash over the next 14 years. He also established ad hoc committees for Campus Life, Fraternity Housing, and Endowment Spending.
In 2014, President Hess hosted a national conference, Celebrating the Value of the Liberal Arts, which attracted scholars, presidents, foundation leaders, and experts from business, medicine, and law from across the country.
Dr. Hess serves on the board of directors of the Independent Colleges of Indiana, Great Lakes Colleges Association, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Club of Indiana, and the NCAA Division III President's Advisory Group. He is the Vice President of the North Coast Athletic Conference.
Prior to his tenure at Wabash, Dr. Hess was Dean of the Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Claremont McKenna College at Claremont, California.
In addition to his role as Dean of the Faculty at Claremont McKenna, Dr. Hess was the James G. Boswell Professor of Economics and a George R. Roberts Fellow. In that role, he oversaw all aspects pertaining to academic affairs, including the curriculum, the Center for Global Education, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurism, athletics, institutional research, student learning outcome assessments, and information technology.
A native of San Francisco, he earned his bachelor’s degree with high honors from the University of California-Davis, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in economics from The Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Hess has also held teaching positions at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Kansas, St. John’s College (Cambridge), the University of Cambridge, London Business School, and Oberlin College.
Outside the academy, Dr. Hess has previously worked as an economist for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve; as a consultant for Honda Motors of North America; and as a member of the Ohio Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors. He has served as a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Banks of San Francisco, St. Louis, Cleveland, and Kansas City, the Bank of Japan, Korea University, the IMF Institute, and the Hoover Institution. He has been a member of the Shadow Open Market Committee since 2002.
Dr. Hess is a widely published author with more than 60 books and articles to his credit, and has served as an editor for Economics and Politics and Macroeconomic Dynamics. He has been invited to make more than 90 scholarly presentations and seminars around the world. His academic specialties include monetary policy, macroeconomics, and the economics of national security.
He and his wife, Lora, are the parents of two daughters, Abigail (a graduate of Wellesley) and Meredith (a graduate of Davidson).
Wabash has had just 16 presidents in its history.