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Grinnell College’s president to depart, will head prestigious Phillips Academy


After nearly a decade as the president of Grinnell College, Raynard Kington will leave the college at the end of the academic year to become the new head of school of Phillips Academy, better known as Andover, the prestigious Massachusetts university-preparatory boarding school.

Grinnell’s board of trustees chairman, David Maxwell, announced the news this morning in a special campus memo. Among Kington’s most important accomplishments are increasing diversity and inclusion efforts on campus, and providing greater access to education.

“Throughout his years at Grinnell, President Kington has modeled a commitment to strategic and inclusive leadership as well as clear, thoughtful, and fair decision-making processes,” Maxwell wrote.

“His personal and professional lives have been rooted in a deep commitment to social responsibility. A priority of his tenure has been strengthening the connection between academic excellence in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social studies, as well as graduates’ ability to go into the world and transform it.”

Kington promoted innovation and entrepreneurship on campus, creating the Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize and the Innovation Fund. He championed the development of a Center for Careers, Life, and Service, ensuring that students are well prepared to thrive in their lives after college. He also helped lead the college in investing nearly $140 million in a campus renewal program.

He strengthened ties to the city of Grinnell and throughout the Midwest region through initiatives such as AmeriCorps and programming for public school children. Since 2013, investments in the “Zone of Confluence,” where campus and downtown come together, have focused on a process for revitalizing that gateway district through joint redevelopment projects.

Kington will become the 16th head of school at Andover.

“This is both a tremendous professional opportunity and a chance for President Kington’s family to return to the East Coast, where he was raised,” Maxwell wrote.

Kington and his husband, Dr. Peter T. Daniolos, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, have two sons.

Phillips Academy and Grinnell College have a shared history: All of the founders of Grinnell, “the Iowa Band,” were graduates of Andover Theological Seminary, which shared a board of trustees and campus with Phillips Academy for 100 years until the theological seminary discontinued operating as an independent institution in 1908.

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