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June 26, 2020

President Jane K. Fernandes Announces Plans to Step Down in 2021

President Jane K. Fernandes announced today that she will be stepping down as Guilford College President, effective July 1, 2021, when she will transition into a faculty role at the College. Fernandes has served as Guilford’s President since July 2014.

Read the announcement letters from the President and Board Chair Ed Winslow III.

“I have loved my time as president and I am proud of the things we have done together,” says Fernandes. “When I arrived, my top priorities were to increase student enrollment, revitalize our curricular and co-curricular endeavors, and take care of our residence halls in need of attention. We have made significant advancements in all of these areas, and many others.”

During Fernandes’ presidency, Guilford College has invested millions in campus-wide facility enhancements to include impressive restoration and renovation of its residence halls, dining center, Rachel’s Rose Cottage, Hege-Cox art complex, and women’s athletics locker rooms. Those major improvement initiatives are all part of the newly launched Guilford Edge, a totally reimagined educational experience focused on uncommon engagement in real-world learning. The sum of these efforts has led to growing interest in Guilford, evidenced by an 8 percent increase in new student enrollment for Fall 2019. 

“The board is grateful for President Fernandes' many contributions to Guilford College,” says Ed Winslow III, chair of Guilford’s Board of Trustees. “Jane’s tenure has been a period of progress and bold leadership. She has found new ways forward that are firmly grounded in Guilford's noble and historic past rooted in our Quaker values. What has not changed is that Guilford remains a powerful advocate for liberal arts education, and it preserves the highest standards of intellectual excellence.”

President Fernandes says she will work closely with the board to help ensure a smooth and successful transition to new leadership. 

“It is always hard to know when to leave a job you love, but I am confident that this is the right time for me, my family, and for Guilford,” says Fernandes. “It has been a great privilege to be a part of this community and to work with extraordinary faculty, dedicated staff, and promising students.”

For further information, please contact Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment Roger Degerman at or 336.580.6959, or Director of Marketing Abby Langston at