Earlier this month, Forbes released its list of “Barrier Breakers: 15 Female College Presidents,” profiling 15 female presidents at Forbes’ top 50 colleges. As Forbes’ 41stranked institution, Lawrence’s president Jill Beck was featured in the article. The article, which also highlights female presidents of such highprofile institutions as Brown and Harvard Universities, specifically mentions Beck’s ArtsBridge program, an arts education program that enables university students to teach local K-12 students. One of the article’s purposes was to highlight the low number of female presidents at colleges and universities today. The American Council on Education reported that only 23 percent of college presidents are women. “At least this number is higher than that of women CEOs in American corporations”, said Beck, however she also reaffirmed that, “Women need to aspire to the highest positions in academia.” An example of this division is when Beck meets with the other presidents of the fourteen Associated Colleges of the Midwest, she is the only woman at the table. When President Beck arrived at Lawrence, graduates of Milwaukee- Downer College reminded her that she actually is not Lawrence’s first woman president, if their alma mater is taken into consideration. Such women as Lucia Briggs were presidents of the all-female Milwaukee- Downer before it merged with Lawrence. In this line of descent, President Beck is Lawrence’s third woman president. “It would be difficult to overstate the number of women alumnae who have come up to me on my visits around the country to celebrate with their positive reaction at having a woman head Lawrence,” said Beck. Beck said she understands that her presidency is barrier-breaking, considering that it is not the norm to appoint a woman as college or university president. Trying to explain the discrepancy between the sexes in this field, Forbes suggested that boards of trustees, which are generally malecentric, often feel more comfortable choosing men to lead their schools. Despite these figures, Beck remains happy in her position at the school. “When I think about Lawrence, my first feelings are admiration for the outstanding students I’ve met over the years through their research and creative projects. Another strong feeling concerns the alumni – without them, there would be no facilities such as the campus center,” said Beck. Jill Beck assumed the presidency of Lawrence University in July 2004. Under her leadership, Lawrence has created the Lawrence University Fellows in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, a postdoctoral teaching fellowship program that has brought eight new fellows to campus in various fields. Before becoming president of Lawrence, Beck worked at the City College of the City University of New York, The Julliard School, Connecticut College, Southern Methodist University and the University of California at Irvine. She is a member of the Wisconsin Task Force on Arts and Creativity in Education.