Denise Nash SC ’76 is bringing administrative experience from Caltech along with a Scripps College education to her new position as Vice President and Secretary of the Board of Trustees. Nash, who took on the position Oct. 14, is responsible for coordinating the Board of Trustees’ activities and the work of Scripps President Lori Bettison-Varga’s senior administrative team.
“I am excited to have Denise Nelson Nash working on behalf of the College,” Bettison-Varga wrote in an e-mail to TSL. “Her skills as a community builder and in strategic communication, as well as her knowledge of higher education and Scripps College, make her particularly well-suited to this key position.”
Bettison-Varga wrote that, among other responsibilities, Nash will oversee the implementation of Scripps’s “strategic plan for diversity and inclusivity.”
Nash wrote in an email to TSL that her goal in her new position is “to be of service to the College community.”
Nash came to Scripps from Caltech, where she served as Assistant
Vice President of Campus and Community Relations, Interim Associate Vice President for Communications, and Assistant Vice
President for Public Events, according to a press release from the college. She pioneered social programs such as the Cultural
Expedition Program, which subsidizes cultural events for
students with financial constraints.
Nash, who majored in dance and social studies at Scripps and received a master’s degree in fine arts in dance at the University of Michigan, described the influence of her Scripps education on her career.
“While it may not seem
extraordinary to today’s Scripps student, when I relocated
to Venezuela in the early 80s as a single woman who didn’t speak Spanish
to teach Kinesiology and Dance (in Spanish), it was viewed as bold, audacious,
and a bit puzzling,” she wrote. “The inquiry-based learning at Scripps within the
rich base of Humanities, prepared me to live internationally, accept a
teaching position in another country, and learn another
language while navigating another culture. My professional and
life journeys have revolved around the themes of curiosity, respect,
exploration, knowledge, and service. Scripps gave me this gift and it has been
my experience that Scripps women of all generations share these same themes
Before her appointment as Vice President and Secretary of the Board
of Trustees, Nash served as a member of the Lois Langland
Alumna-in-Residence Committee, Alumnae Council, Malott Commons Advisory
Committee, and Ellen Browning Scripps Medal Committee, according to the press release on Scripps’ website. She also played an active role in
the Pasadena, Calif. community, serving as Executive Director of the Cultural
Planning Division for the city and Director of the Plaza de la Raza
School of Performing and Visual Arts.
“Scripps is very fortunate to have a wise and devoted Board of Trustees and a president who is a unifier,” Nash wrote. “President Bettison Varga’s vision, organizational capacity, emotional intelligence, cognitive style, and accessibility are tremendous assets to Scripps. How could anyone not want to be part of such an amazing group of people?!”