Board of Trustees elects new chair, vice chairs

Back to All Stories

The Colgate University Board of Trustees elected new leadership during a meeting on Friday, July 24. Board Vice Chair Daniel B. Hurwitz ’86, P’17 will take up the chairmanship beginning on September 1. He succeeds Denis F. Cronin ’69, P’09,’10, who has served as a trustee for a total of 14 years and has held the top leadership post since 2011.

Trustees Gretchen H. Burke ’81, P’11,’19 and Michael J. Herling ’79, P’08,’10,’12 will take over as vice chairs, succeeding Hurwitz and Vice Chair Robert A. Kindler ’76, P’04,’08,’12,’17, who has served on the Board of Trustees for 13 years and as vice chair since 2011.

“Dan is a natural leader with strong personal skills who listens closely and patiently, manages adroitly, and inspires high expectations and ambitious outcomes,” said Cronin. “He appreciates Colgate’s many strengths and understands its challenges.”

Hurwitz, a Maroon Citation winner and member of the James B. Colgate Society, has been a trustee for the past six years. He is chair of the Capital Assets Committee, vice chair of the Audit Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee while serving on the Academic and Faculty Affairs, Athletic Affairs, Nominating and Trustee Development, and Planning and Governance committees. He is also a member of the current Presidential Search Committee.

In those roles, he has provided oversight for construction and renovation projects; he has worked to expand the impact of the Colgate experience while containing costs associated with the rising demands of operating an institution of higher education. Committed to the full spectrum of Colgate’s liberal arts offerings — the life-changing lessons that take place in the classroom, on study groups, through extracurricular activities and Division I athletics — he has become well known for the time he spends outside of trustee meetings connecting with faculty and students.

Earlier this year, Hurwitz left Cleveland-based DDR Corp, where he had been CEO, to form the real estate investment and advisory firm Raider Hill Advisors, LLC. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Colgate and serves on the board of directors of several real estate companies as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“I am humbled and honored to lead a board composed of those I respect and admire at the institution that I love the most,” Hurwitz said. “The Colgate community adopted me in 1982, and I have been forever grateful. I want to recognize and thank Denis Cronin for his tireless dedication, leadership, and mentorship over the years. His unparalleled wisdom and vision will always have a permanent legacy on our campus. I would also like to thank Rob Kindler for his many years of dedicated service to the board and a variety of Colgate constituents both on and off campus. Finally, I can’t express how excited I am to partner with Mike and Gretchen. Their devotion and loyalty to Colgate will help to ensure that our best years are yet to come.”

Burke is a member of the Alumnae Leadership Council and the James B. Colgate Society who has volunteered as a class gift committee member and served the last four years on the Board of Trustees. She currently serves on the Presidential Search Committee and the Executive Committee, and she chairs the Nominating and Trustee Development Committee. Burke graduated from Colgate with a degree in English before earning her MBA at Harvard University. She is a community leader and former chair of the board at Philadelphia’s Episcopal Academy.

Herling is a Maroon Citation winner and a recipient of the William Brian Little ’64 Award for Distinguished Service. A member of the Executive Committee, he chairs the current Presidential Search Committee and the Athletic Affairs Committee. In addition to his eight years on the Board of Trustees, he served 10 years on the Alumni Council, 15 years on his class gift committee, and six years on the Presidents’ Club Membership Committee. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history at Colgate and went on to receive his JD from Stanford University. Herling is a founding partner of the law firm Finn Dixon & Herling LLP.

“I am delighted with the election of this leadership team,” said Interim President Jill Harsin. “I look forward to working with Dan, Gretchen, and Michael in the coming year. Dan’s energy, enthusiasm, and strong commitment to Colgate will make him a great board chair.”

Portrait of Denis F. Cronin ’69, P’09,’10

Denis F. Cronin ’69, P’09,’10

Board Chair Denis Cronin and Vice Chair Robert Kindler are no strangers to their titles. Cronin served as the first chair of Colgate’s $480 million Passion for the Climb campaign, and Kindler served as vice chair. Their leadership helped to add $142 million to the university’s financial aid resources, expand and renovate the Case Library and Geyer Center for Technology, build the Ho Science Center, renovate the Colgate Inn, and grow Colgate’s endowment to almost $900 million.

Cronin’s support for financial aid, the Class of 1965 Arena, and Division I athletics earned him membership in the James B. Colgate Society. The university has also recognized his leadership with the Maroon Citation and Wm. Brian Little ’64 Award for Distinguished Service. In addition to chairing the Board of Trustees, he has served on committees including Admission and Aid, Budget, Legal Affairs and Insurance, and University Organization.

“My 14 years on the board have been exhilarating — from the first day of service and every day since,” Cronin said. “Colgate has, since my student days, been a priority in my life, and it has been a privilege and honor to serve as member of Colgate’s board and as board chair. Our trustees are amazingly talented and do a superb job.”

Portait of Robert A. Kindler ’76, P’04,’08,’12,’17

Robert A. Kindler ’76, P’04,’08,’12,’17

Robert Kindler, a Maroon Citation and Wm. Brian Little ’64 award recipient, is a James B. Colgate Society member. He endowed a faculty chair in the arts and provided funding for a music listening room in the revitalized Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology. During his tenure on the Board of Trustees, he has served on a number of committees, including the Executive Committee, the current Presidential Search Committee, the Nominating and Trustee Development Committee, Academic & Faculty Affairs, Admission and Aid, Student Affairs, Technology, and more.

“I feel fortunate to have served on the board for 13 years – 13 is a special number for Colgate,” Kindler said. “The last four years as vice chair have been particularly rewarding given all the positive changes at the university.”