George Bridges named next president of Evergreen

Emily Lin-Jones

The Evergreen State College’s Board of Trustees announced today that George Bridges will assume the presidency of the college, starting Oct. 1 of this year.

Bridges announced last spring that he would be stepping down from his position at Whitman, and in January he was named as a finalist in Evergreen’s open search for a new president.

“I’m very excited about this appointment … [to be] working at a liberal arts college that is in some respects like Whitman and in some respects very different,” said Bridges.

Bridges is set to replace Dr. Thomas L. “Les” Purce, whose retirement in August will mark the end of a 15 year presidency.

Located in Olympia, Wash., Evergreen is a public liberal arts college with an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 4100 students. It is known for its unique curriculum and course structure, in which students do not receive letter grades but instead receive “narrative evaluations” from their professors.

“It’s a larger school and it represents some interesting challenges … I’m looking forward to those challenges as opportunities to learn about a different kind of school, and use what I’ve learned at Whitman to help advance [Evergreen],” he said.

In his remaining time at Whitman Bridges said he’ll prioritize bringing his $150 million Now Is The Time fundraising campaign to a close. He also hopes to ensure a smooth transition for incoming president Kathy Murray, who is set to assume her post in July.

“I want to make sure when I leave Whitman that she is as well informed and prepared for the college and its unique culture [as possible], in order that she be successful,” he said.