April 2016 20 Questions: William Fox, St. Lawrence University

A higher ed calling

William L. Fox, St. Lawrence University’s 18th president, discusses his tenure leading the university and his own undergraduate experience as a member of the class of 1975 in his Canton office last month. Photo by Justin Sorensen, NNY Business.

William L. Fox, St. Lawrence University’s 18th president, discusses his tenure leading the university and his own undergraduate experience as a member of the class of 1975 in his Canton office last month. Photo by Justin Sorensen, NNY Business.

William Fox, SLU ’75, leads university steeped in tradition to new, lasting heights

When St. Lawrence University president William L. Fox first arrived on campus in 1971 for a visit during his senior year of high school, he instantly knew that he’d found his undergraduate home. Fast-forward some 38 years to 2009, and Mr. Fox, a 1975 graduate, made a serendipitous return to campus as the university’s 18th president. With the nation’s economy in a tailspin, he’d take the reins at the storied institution while facing incredible challenges as the university’s endowment plunged 35 percent, losing nearly $100 million. But, as Mr. Fox tells it, the perseverance of an academic institution revered by its alumni helped to carry it through hard times. Now in his seventh year at the helm, Mr. Fox and the team he leads have set a course of innovation and adaptation that he believes will propel St. Lawrence well into the future. We sat down with Mr. Fox last month for a conversation about what makes St. Lawrence a jewel in the crown of higher education. [Read more…]