Ruscio announces new Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid

Dean of Admissions at Occidental College Named VP for Admissions and Financial Aid at W&L

Sally Stone Richmond currently works as Dean of Admissions at Occidental College in California.

Sally Stone Richmond currently works as Dean of Admissions at Occidental College in California.

Stuart Scott

The face of Washington and Lee’s admissions and financial aid office will be changing with the start of the 2015-2016 academic year. In a Feb. 4 announcement, Washington and Lee went public with its decision to hire Sally Stone Richmond as its next Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid.

Following the resignation of Bill Hartog, who served as Dean of Admissions at Washington and Lee for 37 years, a search committee chaired by Dean of Students Sidney Evans began a careful selection process for Hartog’s successor.

The committee — composed of administrators, members of the faculty and a member of the Board of Trustees — eventually settled on three finalists. These three were invited to visit the W&L campus for formal interviews, Evans said.

The final decision was made by W&L President Ken Ruscio, who selected the current Dean of Admission at California’s Occidental College: “[Ms. Stone Richmond’s] experience and success in previous positions ensures she will build upon W&L’s existing strengths, while preparing us for the opportunities and challenges facing us in the future,” Ruscio said in an e-mail to the university community.

Stone Richmond said she hopes to gain the support of the entire school community in order to promote W&L to potential students.

“My vision would be to make sure that we are being thorough and positive in the way that we’re portraying the university around the world,” Stone Richmond said. “And we have to continue to rely on the whole community to help do this.”

Prior to serving as Dean of Admissions at Occidental, Stone Richmond worked in admissions at her alma mater, Davidson College, a small liberal arts institution in North Carolina. She also worked in college counseling at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia – a significant feeder school for Washington and Lee.

Stone Richmond’s unique employment background will likely serve her well in the school’s environment.

“She certainly understands selective liberal arts admissions from her work at Davidson and Occidental,” Evans said. “I think she’ll have a great rapport with our prospective students and their families, and also with our campus partners – be it students, faculty, or staff”.

Stone Richmond said she has long appreciated Washington and Lee’s tradition and history of excellence. A native of Gloucester County, Virginia, she has multiple relatives who have attended the university.

She also said that her work in college counseling at Episcopal High School made her very much aware of the nature of the university.

“I will look back to that Episcopal counseling experience to appreciate and understand some of the fundamental principles that the students value,” Stone Richmond said.

Upon graduation from Davidson, Stone Richmond received her Masters of Education from Harvard University with a concentration in Administration, Planning and Social Policy.

“She’s got a great educational background,” Journalism Professor Doug Cumming said.

Cumming, who was also involved in the search for a new Vice President of Admissions and Financial Aid, said he was also impressed by Stone Richmond’s general demeanor. He described her as relaxed and innovative.

Stone Richmond said she is excited at the prospect of returning to Virginia. She also showed enthusiasm and gratitude for the opportunity to work in an environment that she believes feels as passionately as she does about the importance of admissions.

“My interactions with the university leaders and my experience during my visit to campus in january was very powerful,” she said. ”I came to greatly appreciate the honesty and the curiosity everyone had for admissions and financial aid, and their understanding that we have to get this right to ensure the future of the university.”