Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D., became Shenandoah University’s 16th president on July 1, 2008. She is the institution’s first female president since its founding in 1875. She came to Shenandoah in 2001, as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, became vice president for Academic Affairs in 2002 and was named senior vice president in 2006. She holds a faculty appointment as professor of political science and still teaches a course each year. Previously, Dr. Fitzsimmons was a tenured faculty member and faculty leader at the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif.
As president of Shenandoah University, she leads an institution of 4,100 students, and 900 faculty and staff at its 129-acre site in Winchester, Va., and sites in Loudoun, Fairfax, and Clarke Counties, Va. She has twice been featured in Virginia Business’ Virginia 500 Power List; and in 2022 in Virginia Business she was one of 42 executives to receive the Women in Leadership Award.
Fitzsimmons serves on the board of directors of the publicly-traded company Shentel (Shenandoah Telecommunications, Inc.) where she is the Lead Independent Director and the Chair of the Nominating & Governance Committee. She also serves on the Region 8 Go Virginia board. Fitzsimmons is Past-President of the ODAC Conference and Past-Chair of the Council of Independent Colleges in VA. As past President, she remains very involved at NAICU (the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities). She also serves on the board of the Loudoun Education Foundation and Opportunities Scholars; she is a member of the International Women’s Forum of DC, and 100 Women Strong of Loudoun County. Currently, she is the Presidential Sponsor of the VA Women’s Network.
Her undergraduate degree in politics is from Princeton University, magna cum laude, and her master’s and doctoral degrees are from Stanford University in, respectively, Latin American studies and political science.
She lives in Winchester, Va., with her husband, Knox Singleton, eighteen-year-old daughter, Shayla, and sixteen-year-old twin sons, Dash and Jag.