17th president of Colgate University


Brian W Casey standing at podium smiling

Casey graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1985. At Notre Dame, he was a philosophy and economics double major, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and was captain of the varsity swim team. In his senior year, he was named Notre Dame’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

He continued on to Stanford Law School, where he was a member of the law review, graduating with honors in 1988. He began his legal career with the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, working in both its New York and London offices.

Casey’s journey from Wall Street to Broad Street began when he left his law career for Harvard University, where he earned his PhD in the history of American civilization in 2000, focusing specifically on the history of American higher education and American intellectual history. Finishing at Harvard, he became assistant provost at Brown University in 2001. There, he engaged in academic planning in the arts and sciences, supporting faculty research and interdisciplinary education.

In 2005, Casey returned to Harvard, this time as associate dean for academic affairs in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Once again, he applied his skills in strategic academic planning, taking responsibility as well for faculty appointments, recruitment, and development.

As DePauw University’s 19th president, from 2008 to 2016, Casey led that institution through a period of comprehensive planning and growth. He invested in both campus programs and in the economic development of the City of Greencastle.

Under Casey's leadership, DePauw created an integrated advising center for off-campus study, internships, career planning, pre-professional and graduate school preparation, and post-graduate planning. 

He formed a new student financial aid endowment, raising more than $70 million in funding for aid.

Casey launched DePauw’s first comprehensive capital campaign in nearly two decades. Within a year after the public launch, DePauw has raised more than $270 million toward the campaign’s $300 million goal. On a related note, during Casey's tenure, DePauw’s endowment increased more than 51 percent. He also managed to work out with the swim teams several mornings a week — something he continues to do with Colgate’s squad.

Casey brings this host of accomplishments, experiences, and expertise to Colgate. “I never fail to realize how lucky I am to be on campus, to be working with students,” he has said. “I hope I bring experience and intelligence but I also hope I bring joy to this enterprise.”