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President, Girard College

Girard College is a boarding school for academically capable students, grades 1 through 12, from families with limited financial resources, each headed by a single parent or guardian.

Clarence D. “Clay” Armbrister began his presidency in July 2012, 164 years after Girard College opened its doors.

Armbrister has had a nearly thirty-year career in the private and public sectors. In his most recent stint in the public sector, he served as Chief of Staff to the Honorable Michael A. Nutter, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. Armbrister has also served in senior positions in the higher education arena, serving as Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff to the President of Johns Hopkins University, building on four years of service at Temple University where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer prior to joining the Nutter Administration.

Armbrister began his professional career as a lawyer in the public finance department of Saul, Ewing, Remick and Saul, leaving as a partner in 1994 to begin what was thought to be a short-term hiatus from the practice of law to serve as City Treasurer under then-Mayor Edward G. Rendell. He went on to serve as the Managing Director of the Philadelphia School District. He later joined PaineWebber – which subsequently became UBS – where he left as a Director in the Public Finance Department in 2003 to join Temple University.

Armbrister received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1982 and his B.A. degree in political science and economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.

Armbrister is a native of Miami, Florida. He, his wife Denise, and their family reside in the Overbrook Farms section of Philadelphia.

Girard College is pleased to hold memberships in several key educational organizations:




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