The Davidson College Board of Trustees announced today that John W. Chidsey III, Class of 1983, will serve as its next board chair. Chidsey was elected unanimously to a four-year term, beginning in January. Chidsey has served as a board member since 2005 and as a member of the executive, athletics policy, and academic and educational policy committees.
"As a long-standing member of the Davidson board, I have experienced first hand the extraordinary commitment of the board to the liberal arts philosophy and educational excellence and access for all qualified students," said Chidsey. "I am honored to take on this role and eager to strengthen Davidson's impact for good in the world."
"John Chidsey knows what makes Davidson distinctive and embodies the values that Davidson cultivates - integrity, intellectual curiosity, moral courage, and creativity," said Carol Quillen, president of Davidson College. "In addition, John understands the challenges we face within the changing landscape of higher education. He brings to the chairmanship a global perspective and a commitment to excellence. As we formulate a strategy for the next decade, we are thrilled to have his incomparable leadership to guide us forward."
Chidsey began his career as an investment banker, but decided to enter the corporate world. He worked for Pepsico, served as chair and chief executive officer for two corporate divisions of the Cendant Corporation, and was executive chair and CEO of the Burger King Corporation. He is currently a Director and Member of the Audit Committee for HealthSouth Corporation and for Norwegian Cruise Lines. He also serves on the board of Camillus House, dedicated to addressing men's homelessness.
Graduating from Davidson with a B.A. in history, Chidsey attended graduate school at Emory University, earning an M.B.A. degree in finance and accounting and a J.D. degree in 1987. He is also a registered CPA and member of the Georgia Bar Association.
Chidsey and his wife Lisa Robinson Chidsey, also an `83 grad, have been strongly committed to Davidson since graduation. Together, they provided the naming gift for the college's Chidsey Center for Leadership Development, which was created in 2007. The Chidsey program is focused on developing leaders who will make a powerful impact and exemplify Davidson values such as honor, service and respect for the dignity and worth of all people. The center sponsors a Chidsey Fellows Program, a leadership lecture series, and an annual retreat encouraging students to explore leadership strategies.
The couple lives in Coral Gables, Fla., and has one son and one daughter.