Southwestern University Trustee
Dr. Dale Thomas Knobel
Dale Knobel is the president emeritus of Denison University, having served as Denison’s president from 1998 through his retirement in 2013. Following the departure of Dr. Edward Burger as Southwestern’s president at the end of 2019, Dr. Knobel served as the university’s interim president for six months prior to Dr. Laura Trombley’s becoming Southwestern’s 16th president on July 1, 2020. Previously, from 1996 through 1998, he served as Southwestern’s provost and dean of the faculty. Previously, from 1996 through 1998, he served as Southwestern’s provost and dean of the faculty.
A widely published author, Dr. Knobel began his academic career in the history department at Texas A&M University in 1977, focusing his scholarship on ethnic/race relations and immigration in North America. He became the part-time director of Texas A&M’s honors program in 1984, its full-time director in 1987, and the executive director of an expanded honors and scholarships program in 1994. From 1995 to 1996 he served as Texas A&M’s associate provost for undergraduate programs. He was awarded Texas A&M’s Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in 1994. In 2012, the Council for Advancement and Support of Higher Education recognized Dr. Knobel’s career as a higher education leader by presenting him with the Chief Executive Leadership Award.
Dr. Knobel is Chair of the Board of the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, a trustee of the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, and a director of the Texas Methodist Foundation. He previously served as President and Senior Fellow for Higher Education of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.
Dale earned his bachelor’s degree in history, cum laude with honors, from Yale University in 1971. He earned his Ph.D. in 1976 from Northwestern University, where he held the James Alton James Fellowship in American History and received the national Cokesbury Award in College Teaching. He was awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree from Denison University in 2013. Prior to his election as a Southwestern trustee, Dale chaired the Southwestern Board of Visitors. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.