April 19, 2024


Science It Works

Three Exceptional Leaders Join Colby Board of Trustees – News

Colby College is pleased to announce the election of three new members to its Board of Trustees. These individuals will bring to the board their unique expertise and perspectives in education, management, and national affairs, bolstering the College’s commitment to deliver a world-class education to an ever-more diverse student body and equip graduates with the deep skills necessary to have a profound impact on the world.

Joining the board as corporate trustees are Brenda Allen, president of Lincoln University; Eric DeCosta ’93, executive vice president and general manager of the Baltimore Ravens; and Amy Walter ’91, Litt.D. ’17, national editor of The Cook Political Report. They will each serve a four-year term.

Brenda Allen is the 14th president of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, the country’s first degree-granting HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) institution. A respected leader, effective administrator, and successful fundraiser, Allen is implementing a strategic plan at Lincoln to cement the university’s place among outstanding liberal arts institutions. Her priorities include enhancing academic quality and improving operational effectiveness. Prior to joining Lincoln in 2017, she served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Winston Salem State University. Previously, she was associate provost and director of institutional diversity at Brown University, raising nearly $15 million to support diversity goals and leading efforts that culminated in 36-percent and 45-percent increases in the number of women and minority faculty members, respectively. Earlier, at Smith College, she held administrative positions, rose through the ranks to full professor, and chaired the African American Studies Program.

Allen has been named one of Philadelphia’s most influential African-American leaders by the Philadelphia Tribune and, just last month, one of the ten most dominant HBCU leaders of 2021 by the HBCU Campaign Fund. She earned a B.A. in psychology from Lincoln University and an M.S. in experimental psychology and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Howard University.

Eric DeCosta ’93 was named executive vice president and general manager of the Baltimore Ravens in 2019, overseeing all of the team’s football operations. A linebacker for the Colby Mules, DeCosta joined the Ravens as a personnel intern during their inaugural season in 1996 and steadily moved up in the organization, becoming director of college scouting, director of player personnel, and then assistant general manager in 2012. That same year, DeCosta launched the Ravens’ analytics department. An early leader in the use of data analytics to evaluate players, he uses analytics to inform organizational decisions as general manager. DeCosta earned a master’s in English from Trinity College. He serves on the board of the Irvine Nature Center, an environmental education center, and he’s actively involved with the Family Tree, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing child abuse. DeCosta was a member of Colby’s Board of Visitors from 2017 to 2021.

DeCosta received Colby’s Carl E. Nelson Sports Achievement Award in 2017. And in 2020 Sporting News named him the NFL Executive of the Year following his first year as general manager, when the Ravens posted their best regular-season record.

Amy Walter ’91, Litt.D. ’17, one of the country’s most highly regarded political analysts, is the national editor of The Cook Political Report. Walter provides weekly political analysis for the PBS Newshour and is a regular panelist on NBC’s Meet the Press, Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier, and CBS’s Face the Nation. From 2018 to 2020 she hosted public radio’s Politics with Amy Walter on The Takeaway. Previously, she was political director at ABC News and served as editor-in-chief of the National Journal’s Hotline, a well-respected daily political publication. Walter serves on the board of advisors of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, where she was an inaugural fellow. She was a member of Colby’s Board of Visitors from 2009 to 2011, and she also previously served as a Colby trustee, from 2011 to 2017, when she was named trustee emerita and awarded an honorary degree.

Washingtonian Magazine named Walter one of Washington, D.C.’s “50 Top Journalists” in 2009. And the Washington Post honored her with its Crystal Ball Award for her “spot-on” election predictions in 2000.