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Ronald A. Crutcher with I Had No Idea You Were Black: Navigating Race on the Road to Leadership — HBE ENGAGE EVENT

April 29, 2021

Ronald Crutcher became President and Professor of Music at the University of Richmond in 2015. Previously, he served for ten years as President of Wheaton College in Massachusetts. At both institutions, Dr. Crutcher has promoted access, affordability, and inclusive excellence. He writes and speaks widely on the democratic purposes and civic mission of higher education. A Phi Beta Kappa

graduate of Miami University in Ohio, Dr. Crutcher earned his master’s and doctoral degrees at Yale University. He is a former member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and sits on the board of the Richmond Symphony. He currently performs in the U.S. and Europe as a longtime member of The Klemperer Trio.

About I Had No Idea You Were Black: Navigating Race on the Road to Leadership 

During this time of intense polarization, Ronald Crutcher’s life as a Black leader successfully bridging America’s cultural divides offers a compelling story with important lessons for today’s thinkers. Born to two parents who never graduated high school, Dr. Crutcher grew up to become a leader at the highest levels of academia and the arts. As a child musician, he met with Coretta Scott King. As an adult educator, he sat at Maya Angelou’s holiday table.

But it is Dr. Crutcher’s success as a Black intellectual navigating highly charged social issues that makes his story both unforgettable and urgently important. Whether negotiating cancel culture at the University of Richmond, where he serves as President in the heart of the former Confederacy, or teaching Northeast liberals the true meaning of functional diversity, Dr. Crutcher offers an education on life and leadership that none of us can afford to ignore.


April 29, 2021
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