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St. John's College Presidential Search Successfully Completed

St. John's College

September 24, 2021


The Board of Visitors and Governors of St. John’s College has appointed Nora Demleitner, Roy L. Steinheimer Jr. Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law, as president of the college’s Annapolis campus. Demleitner’s appointment begins in January 2022.

“The Board of Visitors and Governors is proud to appoint a great legal mind, prolific writer, strategic leader, and dedicated teacher as the first woman to be president of the third oldest college in America,” said Ron Fielding (A70), chair of the board. “As a college that values, first and foremost, the quality and singularity of our educational Program, we were also impressed by the deep respect felt for her by our faculty.”

Demleitner, who served as dean of the law schools at Hofstra University and Washington and Lee, came to the United States from Germany in search of a small college that offered a broad liberal arts education, which stood in contrast to the large research university programs common in her home country. After receiving a BA in American studies from Bates College, she received her JD from Yale and her LLM from Georgetown in international and comparative law.

An expert on criminal justice issues, including sentencing guidelines, she has published extensively in publications that include the Stanford Law Review, National Law Journal, and the Washington Post. After receiving her JD, she clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. when he served on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. She was drawn to the college’s rigorous practice of reasoned inquiry and dialogue as a means of getting at truth and understanding.