Douglas A. Hicks Biography
From his own undergraduate days and throughout a career in higher education, Doug Hicks has embraced a vision of the liberal arts that shapes lives and prepares leaders to serve society.
Hicks, a member of Davidson’s class of 1990, returned to his alma mater in 2022 as president. He joined Davidson from his role as Dean of Oxford College at Emory University, where he developed new programs to enhance the curriculum and build intellectual and social community. The Mellon Humanities Pathways program integrated career experience and reflection into academic courses. He also co-led a working group to memorialize the labor of enslaved persons, planning for twin memorials on Emory’s Oxford and Atlanta campuses and related educational and community projects.
Hicks received an AB degree magna cum laude with honors in economics from Davidson, a Master of Divinity summa cum laude from Duke University, and MA and PhD degrees in religion from Harvard University, where he studied with distinguished theologian Ronald Thiemann and Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen. He has written or edited nine books along with fifty articles for scholarly and public audiences.
President Hicks’s teaching, in leadership studies and religion, began at the University of Richmond, where he later served as founding director of the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement. He moved to Colgate University, where he was named provost and dean of the faculty, the university’s chief academic officer. In 2016, he accepted the role of dean at Oxford, also serving as William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Religion and as faculty affiliate in Emory’s Candler School of Theology.
On August 1, 2022, he started as Davidson’s 19th president.
An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Hicks has held visiting faculty positions at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond and at the Harvard Divinity School. He is a former president of the Academy of Religious Leadership and former chair of the Religion and Social Sciences section of the American Academy of Religion.
Hicks previously served as a member of the board of trustees of Agnes Scott College and, earlier, a trustee at Duke University.
He is joined on campus by his spouse, Catherine L. Bagwell, who is Virginia Lasater Irvin Professor of Psychology at Davidson specializing in child and adolescent development, and their two children, Noah and Ada.