Chestertown, MD, June 1 — In recognition of the accomplishments of Washington College President John S. Toll, the College’s Board of Visitors and Governors has established the John Toll Chair at Washington College.
The creation of the chair was announced at the Chevy Chase Club in Washington, D.C. Keynote speaker at the event was Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.
The professorship has been endowed through a gift of $2 million—$1 million raised from board members over a period of only six weeks to be matched with $1 million from the Hodson Challenge. Jay Griswold, chairman of the Campaign for Washington’s College, said, "The members of the board had already contributed $18 million to our Campaign for Washington’s College. This commitment on top of that is indicative of the board’s gratitude for President Toll’s leadership.
"Dr. Toll’s untiring work on behalf of the College has been key to the success of our Campaign. His first five years have been characterized by one success after another." The
Campaign has raised $60 million in the first 20 months of a 5-year effort to raise $72 million for academic programs, faculty, scholarships, and campus enhancements.
The John Toll Chair will be awarded to an outstanding faculty member in any discipline at Washington College who exemplifies the College’s goals of superb teaching and advising, fine research and excellent service. The recipient must also display a strongly positive attitude and a deep commitment to Washington College and its students. The professor will be chosen by the president and approved by the board.
Among Toll’s accomplishments are the following:
- The College’s endowment has risen from $27 million to $109 million.
- Enrollment has increased more than 20 percent, from 1006 to 1225.
- The number of National Honor Society students making up the student body has more than doubled to 550.
- Four major building projects have been completed. The most recent, Louis Goldstein Hall, will open this fall.
Toll came to Washington College a distinguished figure in education. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in physics with highest honors from Yale University in 1944 and serving in the Navy during World War II, Toll completed his Ph.D. in physics at Princeton, where he helped to establish Project Matterhorn, now known as the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. In 1953 he joined the University of Maryland faculty and served for thirteen years as chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, considered one of the best in the country.
In 1965 Toll became the first president at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His work there earned him election to Newsday’s "100 Who Shaped the Century."
On June 9, Toll will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Maryland Association for Higher Education, the first the organization has given. In July, he will be one of only eight educational leaders to receive the Council for the Support of Education Chief Executive Leadership Award.