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Rebecca Chopp at a Glance


Rebecca Chopp has been president of Colgate University since 2002.

• Selected as Swarthmore’s 14th president, Feb. 21, 2009
• Will take office July 1
• First woman to hold the job

• President, Colgate University, 2002–2009
• Dean, Yale Divinity School, 2001–2002
• Provost and Executive Vice President
for Academic Affairs, Emory University, 1997–2001
• Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs,
Candler School of Theology, Emory University, 1993–1997
• Professor of Theology, Emory University, 1986–1997
• Professor, University of Chicago Divinity School, 1982–1986
• Ordained by the United Methodist Church, 1977
• Ph.D., University of Chicago Divinity School, 1983
• M.Div., St. Paul School of Theology, 1977
• B.A., Kansas Wesleyan University, 1974

Saving Work: Feminist Practices of Theological Education
The Power to Speak: Feminism, Language, God
The Praxis of Suffering: An Interpretation of Liberation and Political Theologies


Chopp and her husband, Fred Thibodeau, met the faculty and staff and some students at an informal reception.

• Born Salina, Kan. Age 57
• Married to Fred Thibodeau, a former fundraiser in higher education and also an ordained Methodist minister who has served a parish in Hamilton, N.Y. He plans to retire in June 2009.
• Children: Chopp’s son Nate is 32.
Thibodeau has two sons, Matt (35) and Mike (30).
• Chopp is an avid reader of “fiction, philosophy, history, and biographies.” She loves to hike and works out “at least six days a week.” Her guilty pleasures: an occasional Hostess Snowball and ice cream.
• Thibodeau plans to become involved in a church in the Swarthmore community. Chopp is looking forward to visiting the Friends Meeting House on campus.

To learn more about President-designate Chopp and watch her first public address on campus, visit

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