Southwestern University Trustee
Dr. Dale Thomas Knobel
Dale Knobel is president emeritus of Denison University, leading the Ohio liberal arts college from 1998 to his retirement in 2013. Following the departure of Dr. Edward Burger as Southwestern’s president at the end of 2019, Dr. Knobel stepped in as the University’s interim president for six months prior to Dr. Laura Trombley’s arrival as Southwestern’s 16th president. From 1996 to 1998, prior to taking the Denison presidency, he served as Southwestern’s provost and dean of the faculty.
A widely-published scholar, Dr. Knobel began his academic career in the history department at Texas A&M University in 1977, focusing his scholarship on ethnic and race relations and immigration to the United States. He became director of Texas A&M’s University Honors Program in 1987 and was appointed executive director of university-wide honors and scholarships programs in 1994. In 1995-1996 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 national Council for Advancement and Support of 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 Senior Fellow for Higher Education and Interim President of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. In 2021, he was appointed to the Dean’s Council of the Yale Divinity School of Yale University. During the first six months of 2020, Dr. Knobel served as Southwestern’s interim president.
Dale earned his bachelor’s degree in history, cum laude and with departmental 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.