In August 2010, nine openly gay college leaders met to form a first-of-its-kind collegiate organization, the LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education. Among their ranks were three officials from New England: Ralph Hexter, past Hampshire College president and among the first openly gay presidents; Katherine Ragsdale, president of Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge; and Theo Kalikow, president of the University of Maine Farmington. The group’s intention was to create a proper caucus for non-heternormative officials in the realm of higher education and bring issues concerning this population to a larger audience.
Four months later, the group put out an introductory video on YouTube in which the presidents expound on their purpose and hopes for the future of the LGBTQ community in higher education. Now including 25 openly gay college presidents in the U.S., the LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education will make its official debut with a panel presentation at the March 2011 meeting of the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C.