President Joseph Murphy, 1977-1982

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Political scientist Joseph Murphy was Bennington’s seventh president. He attended the University of Colorado, received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan’s Olivet College, and received his doctorate from Brandeis University. A recipient of a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and others, Murphy served as director of the Peace Corps’ Virgin Island Training Center on St. Croix; as assistant office secretary in the Department of Health Education and Welfare in Washington; as an associate director of the Job Corps in the Office of Economic Opportunity in Washington; and as director of Peace Corps operations in Ethiopia. He was the Vice Chancellor for Higher Education for the State of New Jersey and president of Queens College before coming to Bennington. Under Murphy’s leadership, the College established among other initiatives a distinguished visiting lecture program that would bring to Bennington several Nobel laureates among many other notable writers and public intellectuals. After leaving Bennington, Murphy served as Chancellor of City University of New York until his death.


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