Diane C. Anci, vice president for enrollment and dean of admission at Mount Holyoke College, will join Kenyon as vice president of enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid on July 1, 2015.
President Sean Decatur announced the selection of Anci after a national search. She has worked in admissions at Mount Holyoke, in South Hadley, Mass., since 1990. Mount Holyoke is a highly selective, residential liberal arts college for women, with an enrollment of about 2,180.
“Diane Anci is well-versed in all facets of enrollment,” Decatur said. “She has demonstrated a mastery of the admissions process and has a finely tuned appreciation for the liberal arts experience. Diane is creative and imaginative and she’s a team player. We are very pleased that she is joining the Kenyon community.”
Anci, who has enjoyed a successful tenure at Mount Holyoke, is poised for a new challenge. “Kenyon is a dream,” she said. “All that I have learned about higher education has sharpened my draw to exceptional places, and Kenyon is very clearly that. I always have admired Kenyon’s remarkable commitment to and strength in the liberal arts. I am thrilled that my next challenge will happen at a place and on a team that aligns with my personal values.”
She served as interim vice president for enrollment and dean of admission at Mount Holyoke from July 2010 to March 2012 before assuming her current title. She began serving Mount Holyoke as dean of admission in 1998, working up from assignments as assistant director of admission and then associate director of admission. She previously worked as an admission associate at Barnard College in New York City.
Barry F. Schwartz ’70, chairman of the Kenyon College Board of Trustees, applauded the work of the search committee and thanked its members for identifying such a talented successor to Jennifer Delahunty, the former vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid at Kenyon since 2003. “In Diane Anci, we have found a high-achieving admissions professional to take on this important work and continue to deliver the message to the finest prospective students and their families that the liberal education provided at Kenyon is a path to an engaged and successful life,” Schwartz said.
The search committee was chaired by College trustee Larry James and included representatives of the administration, faculty and student body. Lahti Search Consultants of Minneapolis helped guide the search. “She was No. 1,” James said. “She’s perfect for what the culture of Kenyon represents. We talked about being creative and understanding and working with the College community. She has the ability to run the race — and to win the race.” James mentioned the importance of recruiting richly diverse classes.
Mount Holyoke President Lynn Pasquerella said Anci has done extraordinary work in admissions. “During her tenure here we have had the highest number of applicants ever,” Pasquerella said. “She really has brought prestige to the college through the telling of our story in a compelling way and allowing people to see the value of liberal education and women’s education.” Mount Holyoke has made great progress in academic excellence over the course of Anci’s service, Pasquerella said.
“I am thrilled that she is going to Kenyon, which is such a fine institution,” Pasquerella said. Given Decatur’s experience at Mount Holyoke from 1995 to 2008 as a faculty member and an associate dean, Mount Holyoke enjoys a special kinship with Kenyon, she added.
Enrollment success at Mount Holyoke, Anci explained, can be measured in “higher conversions from inquirer to applicant, lower admit rates, steady yield, increased quality and a remarkable realization of the college’s commitment to diversity.” Thirty-four percent of domestic students at Mount Holyoke identify as African American, Asian American, Latina, Native American or multiracial.
Anci sounded a theme of partnership. She praised the quality of her staff and noted particular pride in the strength of her division’s relationship with Mount Holyoke faculty. “We have worked hard to make sure our messages are finely honed to reflect our mission and our aspirations,” Anci said. “Our creativity and high-touch outreach, along with sophisticated tools and planning, have brought Mount Holyoke College its best years.”
Improving diversity, she said, goes beyond merely enrolling new students and hinges on “strengthening relationships and experiences that lead to high satisfaction, success and strong retention.”
According to Anci, challenges for liberal arts colleges include consumer concerns about the expense of higher education and the perception that the liberal arts are not focused enough on preparing students for post-graduate success. “Families, more than ever, want to understand the value of a liberal arts education and how it leads to successful careers,” Anci said. “While my conviction is strong that the liberal arts are the very best preparation for both work and life, we must affirm the needs of families and make sure the benefits of what we do are crystal clear.
“Kenyon does a terrific job of mining the stories of students and alumni who have used the liberal arts to find professional and personal success, often while contributing to the greater good,” she said. “We’ll want to continue to tell these stories and to make sure that the links between curriculum and career are clear to students as they chart their course.”
Anci is married to Joseph Mangine, a psychologist in independent practice, and they have a son, Adrian, who is 11.
She follows Delahunty, who chose to pioneer regional representation for the College on the West Coast as associate dean of admissions. In that capacity, Delahunty will continue to play a role in the admissions effort. Darryl Uy became interim dean of admissions and financial aid on Dec. 1. He will serve in that capacity until Anci takes the admissions reins.