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Christopher J. Gruber Appointed to Lead Davidson Admission Office

Chris Gruber has been appointed Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid
Contact: Bill Giduz 704/894-2244 or

Following a six-month nationwide search for a new Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Davidson College trustees have appointed Christopher J. “Chris” Gruber permanently to that position.

Gruber came to Davidson in mid-January from the University of Richmond to be the Director of Admissions. He was then appointed acting Vice President and Dean ten weeks later when former dean Nancy Cable left the college.

Gruber received his B.A. in economics in 1985 from the University of Richmond, and enjoyed a twenty-year career in admissions at his alma mater. As he became increasingly interested in the business aspect of admissions, he enrolled in Richmond's M.B.A. program, and received that degree in 1992.

At Richmond he established an enrollment planning model that helped ensure that the university was at target enrollment at all times, and reduced the year-to-year variance in first-year class enrollments.

In his new position as head of all admission and financial aid operations at Davidson, Gruber wants to bolster the division's record of outstanding success with more emphasis on data gathering and assessment. “There are so many things to do in appealing to prospective students and their families,” he noted. “Effective data management can help us determine the best ways to do that. That will include conversations with students who did enroll, as well as those who didn't. I want us to base decisions not on what just feels right, but more on what the record has demonstrated.”

He also hopes the 28 members of his office will, in their travels and contact with prospective students, act as educators about access to higher education to dispel the notion that only the wealthy can afford enrollment at private colleges like Davidson. “To enroll the students we want, we've got to maximize the effectiveness of our need-based financial aid programs, and get the greatest return on our merit-based scholarships, which are second to none for a college our size,” he said.

Gruber (c) pictured recently with his staff members (l-r) Steve Hairston and Wookie Payne.

Finally, Gruber said he plans to work in close collaboration with the faculty and offices throughout the college. “Employees in the admission office are the front line in recruitment, but we are a community of more than six hundred employees, and everyone has a role to play in recruiting our students,” he said.

Gruber considers himself fortunate to have emerged from the college's national search as the person selected for the vice presidency. “In terms of career aspirations, I've always wanted to represent and work at one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the country,” he admitted. “I came to Davidson as a step along the path, but I never dreamed that the opportunity would arise here so soon.”

He has received an outpouring of warm congratulations from colleagues in person and via e-mail. “That embrace from the entire college is unbelievable personally and professionally,” he said. “I know I've landed at a place where success will come because of the collaborative spirit here. I am so looking forward to doing this!”

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,700 students. Since its establishment in 1837, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine. Davidson is engaged in “Let Learning Be Cherished,” a $250 million campaign in support of student financial assistance, academic resources, and community life.

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