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Girard College Invests F. Christopher Goins as 19th President

Philadelphia, PA (September 30, 2022) – F. Christopher Goins will be formally invested as the 19th President of Girard College today at 2:00 p.m. in a ceremony presided over by The Board of Directors of City Trusts. The program features remarks from elected officials, musical performances by Girard College students, and a reflection from Goins’ high school principal. Hundreds of community members, partners, friends, and family are expected to fill the school’s Chapel in celebration.

I am humbled, honored, and excited on this momentous occasion.

F. Christopher Goins

“I am humbled, honored, and excited on this momentous occasion,” said Goins, who took office in July following a nationwide search. “To see the love pouring in from the Girard College community, the city of Philadelphia, and my own circle of family and friends, I feel such a sense of unity in support of our students and our mission. Together, we will lead every Girard student to discover their purpose, determine their definition of success, and thrive in the life that they choose to live.”

Goins, 44, has devoted his career to expanding opportunities for students, particularly Black and Brown children from under-served communities. He is nationally recognized as an equity-focused educator, consistently empowering minority students to the be leaders of the next generation.

Prior to his appointment as the 19th President of Girard College, Goins served as Chief Equity Officer for Thrive Chicago, where he built the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK) for the Obama Foundation. He also served as the Founding Principal of Butler College Prep, a public four-year charter high school that has since been recognized as the highest-performing, non-selective high school in Chicago. Goins began his journey in education teaching at his alma mater, James B. Dudley High School in Greensboro, NC.

“We believe that the man and the mission are aligned, and that Chris Goins will be an outstanding President who will lead the next great chapter of Girard’s distinguished history,” said Lynette M. Brown-Sow, Chair of the Girard College Committee for The Board of Directors of City Trusts. “His commitment to academic excellence and purpose-drive education will empower our students to create lasting impact in their communities. We are inspired by his uplifting vision for the College and are honored to formally invest him as President.”

The Investiture ceremony will feature remarks from Bernard W. Smalley, Esq., President of The Board of Directors of City Trusts; the Hon. James F. Kenney, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia (recorded); the Hon. Donna Bullock, State Representative, 195th District; Amara Briggs, Treasurer, The Fund for Girard College; Tim Farward ’97, President, Girard College Alumni Association; and Larry Lewis, Retired Principal of James B. Dudley High School.

Ceremonial letters and citations from Sen. Sharif Street, Rep. Bullock, Mayor Kenney, and City Council President, Darrell L. Clarke will be presented during the program.

The Girard College Cavalier Choir, featuring more than 70 students from elementary, middle and high school, will perform the alma mater, “Hail Girard,” “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “We Shall Overcome,” and “Bless Me” under the direction of Paul M. Eaton. Melissa Eppinger, a literacy instructor from KIPP Public Schools, will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

During the Investiture Ceremony, Board President Smalley and Director Brown-Sow will present Goins with a presidential medallion, featuring the school seal and inscribed with the names of his 18 predecessors interspersed with the school’s core values of Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Courage, and Compassion. Goins will also be presented with a copy of Stephen Girard’s will, which laid out the original vision for the College, and the key to Founder’s Hall to mark his transition to leader and caretaker of the school and its students.

“This is the greatest opportunity and responsibility of my career,” Goins said. “To lead this historic institution into its 175th year, to serve every one of our students to the best of my ability, and to engage an entire community of stakeholders who believe in the Girard mission is truly a blessing. Thank you for your trust and support as we embark on this journey together.”

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