Lafayette College has its first female president in its 187 years.
Alison Byerly was named the college's 17th president on Wednesday.
Byerly comes to Lafayette as provost and vice president of Middlebury College in Vermont. She served at leadership positions at Middlebury for 13 years.
She was a member of the Middlebury faculty since 1989 and was a visiting scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and Oxford University.
Byerly is a native of Glenside, Montgomery County.
She earned a bachelor of arts degree with honors in English at Wellesley College, a master of arts in English and a doctorate in English at the University of Pennsylvania.
Byerly will take office on July 1, 2013 as the first woman president of Lafayette, which was founded in 1826.
She succeeds Daniel H. Weiss, who resigns after eight years as president. He will become president of Haverford College in July.
Byerly is married to Stephen Jensen, a medical editor. Their daughter, Laramie, is a sophomore at Carleton College, and their son, Ryan, is a freshman in high school.