Honorary Degree Recipients Education Division

Laura Skandera Trombley, PhD

Laura Skandera Trombley, PhD

Nationally-recognized champion of liberal arts education and president of Pitzer College, Laura Skandera Trombley, PhD, has presided during a time of expansion, raising the college’s profile and academic reputation. She has overseen the foundation of several collegiate centers and majors, including the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability. For the past three years, Pitzer students have won more Fulbright Fellowships than students at any undergraduate college in the United States.

In addition to her leadership of Pitzer, Trombley is a highly respected scholar of Mark Twain. During her doctoral research she discovered one of the largest caches of Mark Twain letters to date. The most recent of Trombley’s five books, Mark Twain’s Other Woman: The Hidden Story of His Final Years, was published in 2010 and the paperback issue released in 2011. She is a frequent guest book reviewer for the Los Angeles Times and her op-eds and commentaries have been featured in the New York Times, NPR, the Huffington Post, and Chronicle of Higher Education.

In 2012 President Barack Obama named Trombley to the 12-member Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. She also sits on boards of the Association of Governing Boards and the Claremont University Consortium. She has received numerous honors, including the CEO Leadership Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District VII, and the Dorothy Trux Award for an Emerging Professional Administrator from the National Association for Women in Education.

Trombley earned both her bachelor’s degree in English and humanities and her master’s degree in English from Pepperdine University. She received her PhD in English from the University of Southern California where she was a Virginia Barbara Middleton Scholar, and a recipient of the Lester and Irene Finkelstein Fellowship for Outstanding Humanities Student. In 2002 Trombley was awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award from Pepperdine University

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