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August 21, 2014, 12:02 pm

Former Nutter staffer to head Girard College

Clarence D. “Clay” Armbrister, former senior vice president and chief of staff of The Johns Hopkins University, Mayor Michael Nutter’s chief of staff and executive vice president and chief operating officer of Temple University, has been appointed president of Girard College.

Armbrister said his work in educational institutional settings and with the city of Philadelphia has given him the ability to enhance his skills.

“I’m excited, but at the same time, I’m humbled by the selection, excited about the opportunity and the prospects. [I’m] really looking forward to working with the students, administration, faculty, staff members along with the Board of City Trusts to try to maintain what is a gem institution in the city,” Armbrister said.

Additionally, Armbrister discussed his goals for the school.

“My goals are to listen and try to help figure out the best for maintaining the school and hopefully begin to expand with appropriate resources,” Armbrister said.

Bernard Smalley, senior counsel to the Tucker Law Group, has known Armbrister for 20 years. As the chairman of the Girard College Committee Board of City Trusts and chair of the search committee, Smalley said Armbrister has a passion for education and the experience to be successful as the school’s president.

“I’m excited about the opportunity of having Clay as the next president of Girard College. Not only for the city, but especially for the students and the administration of the school, and for what it means to the region,” Smalley said. “He’s always been committed to quality education. We face challenges at Girard College, as does any other major educational system, the School District, the Catholic schools. We’re all facing difficult times. This is the opportunity for someone who is extremely skilled in management [and] has a foundation in education to bring his skills to help the kids at Girard to get a 21st century education.”