Berry College Provost Kathy Brittain Richardson has been named president elect of Westminster College in New Wilmington, Penn.


Richardson, who will be the Pennsylvania college’s 15th and first female president, will assume her new duties on July 1.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected to serve as Westminster’s next president and look forward with excitement to working with its faculty, staff, trustees, and alumni to provide a challenging and rewarding education for its students,” Richardson said.

A top-tier liberal arts college Westminster has been dedicated to “the mental and moral training of both sexes” since it opened its doors in 1852. Westminster College is a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide, and was selected as one of the “Top 25 Best Private Colleges in the Northeast.”


Andrew Bressette, Berry College’s associate provost and associate professor of organic chemistry, will serve as interim provost for the 2016-17 academic year. Bressette has a B.S. degree from Assumption College and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and has worked at Berry since 1998.


Berry officials will conduct a nationwide search for a new provost.

“We will always know Dr. Richardson as a colleague who fully embraced Berry’s commitment to an education of the head, heart and hands.  She has poured herself into the fabric of our community and has worked tenaciously to make Berry better,” said Berry College President Stephen R. Briggs.


Richardson has nurtured generations of communication majors and is revered for her courses in public relations, ethics and communications law. She was named provost in 2013. A faculty member since 1986 and winner of Berry’s most distinguished awards for teaching, scholarship and service, she served as associate provost and dean of academic services from 1999-2008 and as interim provost in 2007-08.


Richardson has been editor of “Journalism and Communication Monographs” and is the current co-editor of the “National Forensic Journal.” She is a member of the editorial board of “Mass Communication & Society” and the “Journal of Mass Media Ethics.” In 2012, she received the Professor of the Year award from the Small Programs Division of AEJMC. Her research has been published in the “Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media,” “Journal of Advertising Research”, “Public Relations Review”, “Journalism & Mass Communication Educator” and elsewhere.


She earned a B.A. degree in communication and religion/philosophy, summa cum laude, from Shorter College and a master’s in journalism and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. She received the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award from the Grady College in 2014.


Her husband, Communication Lecturer and Forensics Director Randy Richardson, will take a position on the faculty at Westminster. He leaves behind a distinguished career of 26 years at Berry. In addition to receiving the National Forensics Association’s Distinguished Service Award, the Berry teams he has coached have won 20 consecutive state championships.  Individual awards have included two national pentathlon champions, four open division top 10 finishes and 29 national champions at the novice nationals.