Elizabeth M. Meade
Cedar Crest College
A member of the faculty since 1993, Meade became the 14th president of Cedar Crest College on July 1, 2018. She was the college’s provost for a five-year period and previously served as acting provost and chair of Cedar Crest’s Department of Humanities.
As president, “my primary duties are to set the strategic direction of the institution and to ensure that offices and departments function in alignment with the goals and values of that strategic plan. I work to raise money for the college in conjunction with our Office of Institutional Advancement and to ensure the college is in a strong financial position with our chief financial officer.”
During her tenure as interim president, Meade began a $5.2 million renovation of the student center and a residence hall, along with a branding initiative for the college to proudly declare its identity as a 21st century women’s college.
“I am most proud of the work I led to increase our student retention rate by 10%, which we have maintained for five years. Student success is central to all that we do. I am also very proud of my leadership of the college through this pandemic. We did not lay off or furlough any employees, we delivered a robust student experience, including in-person classes and residential life, and we had a very low incidence rate of COVID-19 on campus.”
“The most important life lesson I have learned is to not be afraid to fail. You have to risk a lot to accomplish a lot, and I would rather try and fail than not try at all.”
Meade loves to spend time with family, to read and to walk outdoors. “Each of these activities helps me to relieve stress and to remember what is most important in life.”
She is married to Arturo Perez, a software engineer with Cisco Systems. They have three children.
This profile is part of Lehigh Valley Business' Higher Education Power 30 list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. See the full list at lvb.com or in our digital edition.