Fielding Center director Shirley Anne Warshaw retires after distinguished career

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Dr. Shirley Anne Warshaw is retiring after over three decades of service to the Eisenhower Institute and Gettysburg College.

A professor of political science, Warshaw has been involved with the Eisenhower Institute in a variety of capacities, most recently as director of the Fielding Center for Presidential Leadership Study. Warshaw’s relationship with the Institute began in 1990, when she ran Gettysburg College’s international commemoration of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 100th birthday. She soon found herself playing a crucial role in the budding partnership between the Eisenhower Institute and Gettysburg College that led to their eventual merger in 2009.

"The Eisenhower Institute has been blessed to have had Shirley Anne's presence and active participation for so many years,” said Fred Fielding ’61, chairman of the Eisenhower Institute National Advisory Council. “In sharing her extensive knowledge and insights about the American political system, she has enriched the lives of the many students who have participated in her creative and important Institute programs and activities.”

A distinguished scholar and author of ten books and numerous articles, book chapters, and reviews, Warshaw is a frequent commentator and source for media outlets seeking insight into the complex institution of the American presidency.

In addition to her academic credentials, the Eisenhower Institute has benefited from Warshaw’s professional experience in public service. Before joining Gettysburg College, she served two governors in the Pennsylvania governor’s office and a state cabinet agency. Warshaw’s background shaped her work at the Eisenhower Institute, where her programs focused on how government can solve problems. Her students have met with high-ranking government officials, traveled internationally to cultivate a global perspective, and visited presidential libraries to “live the experience” of public service in high office. Warshaw fostered a sense of civic engagement in her students, challenging them to integrate their passion for public service with the liberal arts education they receive at Gettysburg College.

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“Dr. Warshaw's teaching and mentorship shaped my personal and professional growth more than anyone else at Gettysburg,” said Pat McKenna ’20. “She always pushed me to improve and I know that I would not have been prepared to enter the professional world without her stellar mentorship.”

During her time as Harold G. Evans Professor of Eisenhower Leadership Studies, Warshaw revamped the Eisenhower Institute Undergraduate Fellows program. Each year, she selected a new theme and guided the fellows through their work on timely policy issues such as geospatial intelligence, space exploration, and transportation infrastructure. Across these projects, Warshaw emphasized the importance of on-the-ground experiences and face-to-face briefings with experts in the U.S. and internationally. Over the years, Warshaw has taken students to Washington, D.C., London, Paris, Hungary, Munich, Vienna, and elsewhere.

In 2015, Warshaw helped establish the Fielding Center for Presidential Leadership Study at the Eisenhower Institute. As the inaugural director, Warshaw sought to facilitate the study and analysis of presidential leadership for undergraduate students at Gettysburg College.

“She was singularly instrumental in the creation and development of the Fielding Center and has guided its outstanding Fellows program with wisdom, enthusiasm and loving care, for which I am deeply grateful,” said Fielding.

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For Warshaw, the founding of the Fielding Center was a high point of her time at Gettysburg. Through the Center, she has continued working with students to enhance their understanding of the executive branch and complex global issues, while connecting them with senior leaders in the public and private sectors. This work was possible thanks to the generous support of Fred Fielding and other Gettysburg College alumni, including Keith Masback ’87, Seth Statler ’83, Will Kinzel ’96, and General Bill Matz ’61, who have provided connections and guidance for the Center’s work.

Warshaw’s students emphasize the transformative impact that she has had on their personal and professional lives.

“Dr. Warshaw goes the extra mile for her students both inside and outside the classroom,” said Jeffrey Lauck ’18.

“From traveling to Hungary together to present a State Department grant to having her cheer me on as I would give a speech at the United Nations, Dr. Warshaw was a vital part of my Gettysburg journey,” said Mariam Aghayan ’17. “She is someone who expects excellence and empowers her students to go after their wildest dreams, often sitting down with them to map a path to turn that into reality. Most importantly, however, Dr. Warshaw has become family over the years.”

Asked what she hopes her students have taken from their time studying with her, Warshaw underscored the value of education. “The more information that you have on any given subject, gives you power to make authoritative recommendations and decisions.  Nothing is as important as the power of information.”

The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College is grateful to Shirley Anne Warshaw for her many contributions and we congratulate her on her retirement.

Dr. Warshaw is particularly passionate about the Eisenhower Institute's Fielding Center. With that in mind, if you feel moved to honor Shirley Anne Warshaw’s legacy with a gift to the College and/or the Fielding Center, you can do so here.