The gem of Brenau since its inception in 1878 remains The Women’s College. Schrader has consistently demonstrated his support for the development of The Women’s College, as under his leadership Brenau added four new sorority houses, a large residential hall and new sports complex in recent years. In 2012, he created the dean of The Women’s College position, which is
dedicated to the success of the historic heart of the university.
“Dr. Schrader has, from his first moments at Brenau until the present, kept his eyes on the horizon, imagining what the university could become while honoring the notable legacy of The Women’s
College,” say Debra Dobkins, dean of The Women’s College and professor of English.
Trustee Amy Whitley says this commitment was most recently evidenced as Schrader charged a team of administrators, faculty, alumnae and trustees to envision a sustainable future for the next 140 years of The Women’s College.
“It was exciting as a relatively new board member when Ed asked me to participate on this committee,” recalls Whitley. “What I really appreciated about the process was that he had no preconceived notions on what the outcome should be. What he did offer was his unwavering support of singlegender education. What I appreciate most is that it’s clear that he has a special place in his heart for The Women’s College of Brenau University.”
Schrader enthusiastically endorsed the team’s recommendations for a fresh vision that advances and supports women in all aspects: personal growth and community engagement, leadership development, intercultural perspective, and gender awareness that promotes social equity across genders, race, class and economics.
“The Women’s College is newly reimagined and now focuses purposefully upon premier signature programs, innovative curriculum, meaningful cocurricular initiatives, experiential service learning and immersive living-learning communities for women,” says Dobkins.
Ken Frank, professor of conflict resolution and legal studies, has been at Brenau during all of Schrader’s time as president and is especially grateful for Schrader’s support of The Women’s College.
“Dr. Schrader’s enthusiastic support for single-gender education is inspiring, especially when so many other institutions of higher education are moving away from it,” Frank says. “His support
for undergraduate programs such as conflict resolution and legal studies, which lead to graduate educational opportunities, has allowed Brenau graduates to be admitted to some of the finest law schools and graduate programs in the country.”
Schrader’s leadership also brought significant expansion to Golden Tigers athletics, which added 10 sports from 2005 to 2019 for a total of 15. Accordingly, student-athlete enrollment increased from 58 to 214, representing more than 25 percent of The Women’s College student body.
“It is not necessarily unusual for a small college to have a significant percentage of its students as athletes, but it is noteworthy,” says Athletic Director Mike Lochstampfor. “I would attribute our growth to President Schrader and to his vision when he came in 2005 to grow the athletics department and to look at opportunities to provide new teams, to upgrade or reinstall previous programs. I think it has positively changed the culture of the university and provided engagement for students and the community.”
Lochstampfor touted the excellence of his student-athletes not only on the field or court but in the classroom as well. In Schrader’s tenure, student-athletes have held at least an average cumulative 3.0 GPA every year.
“Our athletes are very devoted to what they do academically,” Lochstampfor says. “So we’re not just adding athletes. We’re adding students that take seriously their career aspirations, which is very much tied into their athletic involvement.”
Longtime Brenau trustee Anna Jacobs, WC ’86, who also served on The Women’s College planning committee, says that Schrader’s vision and commitment to The Women’s College as well as the entire university has placed the institution in a strong position going forward.
“With the changing landscape of single-gender higher education, Dr. Ed Schrader has kept a keen eye on the core and identity of Brenau University: The Women’s College,” she says. “His vision in bringing innovative programs from the medical field as well as global partnerships to Brenau have made it possible for The Women’s College not only to succeed but to flourish. Brenau will stand strong in the years ahead because Dr. Schrader was her ninth president.”