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May 25, 2023: College President Announcement

Daniel Norton

Following an extensive, semester-long search, Principia is delighted to announce that Dr. Daniel Norton will be our next College President, effective July 1, 2023.

Dr. Norton has a deep background in higher education that includes serving as associate provost/associate vice president for international programs at The University of Southern Mississippi where he currently directs the Center for International Education. Previously, he was associate dean of international studies at Goucher College; director of international programs at Stephen F. Austin State University; director of international programs at Muskingum University; and assistant professor of English at American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

“Dr. Norton’s experience recruiting students and growing enrollment at several institutions, his global higher-education expertise, and his profound spiritual perspective are precisely what are needed to advance Principia College in the modern era,” said Principia Chief Executive Barbara Blackwell. “He brings a robust vision for Principia College’s future growth, and we are thrilled to have him taking the helm at the College.”

Dr. Norton earned his BA in history from the University of South Florida, where he also received a master’s degree in applied linguistics. He received his PhD in English/composition and applied linguistics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

“I’m so impressed with what Principia does and am very optimistic about its future as an influential global institution,” Dr. Norton said. “As the parent of a Principia School and Principia College graduate, I have firsthand knowledge of the transformative power of a Principia education.” His daughter, Caitlin (Norton) Howe (US’06, C’10), and son-in-law, Colby Howe (C’10), are both Principia graduates.

As a class-taught Christian Scientist who came into the religion as a young adult, Dr. Norton is excited to lead an institution of higher education that is rooted and grounded in the teachings of Christian Science. “We have an incredible resource in Christian Science,” he said. “That foundation is what will carry Principia College through any challenges.”

Higher education executive search firm Storbeck Search partnered with us throughout this search process. The search began in December 2022 with the announcement of a faculty-chaired search committee that included Trustee, faculty, staff, alumni, and student representatives. Community-wide input on the skills, qualities, and experiences essential for candidates helped outline the leadership profile defining this critical role at Principia. 

More than 60 candidates were nominated for the position, and approximately 20 candidates submitted applications. The search committee conducted an initial round of interviews before inviting each of three finalists to campus for two days of interviews and community forums in April and early May. 

Principia is immensely grateful to outgoing College President John Williams (C’76) and his wife Missy (Ford) Williams (C’76). John took over as Interim College President in 2019 and began a three-year term leading the College in 2020. Next academic year he will take a well-earned, delayed sabbatical before returning to the classroom to continue engaging and inspiring our students.

Dr. Norton and his wife, Carolyn McIntyre Norton, a lifelong Christian Scientist, will arrive on campus in mid-July when they will move into Hutchinson House. We are grateful for Dr. Norton’s willingness to help shepherd Principia forward into its next 125 years of progress.