Vice President and General Counsel

Dear Laurentian community,

I am pleased to announce that John Christopher will join our community on September 12 and serve as our inaugural Vice President and General Counsel. He will also serve as Secretary of the University Corporation. 

John has served as Vice President and General Counsel at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ, since 2015. In that role, he was responsible for all legal matters and led five offices, including general counsel, equity and inclusion, human resources, university audit, and compliance. Before Monmouth, John was a General Partner at Hodgson Russ, LLP, in Buffalo, NY. While at Hodgson and Russ, he spent time as the group leader of the College and University Practice and the Labor and Employment Law Practice. 

He graduated from Hamilton College with honors as a public policy major. He earned his J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He has served in many leadership positions for the Hamilton College Alumni Association, most recently being elected President. 

During his interview, he demonstrated a depth of knowledge of legal issues facing higher education, and his collaborative approach will help him as he develops relationships across campus. In addition, his experience as an in-house counsel and at a law firm will help our campus as we transition to a new and more efficient model for handling our legal services. 

I am grateful to the search committee listed below, who spent considerable time and energy on our process. Also deserving a note of thanks is Susan VanGilder and Kamilah Allen from Storbeck Search, who helped to facilitate our process.  

Search Committee

  • Tim Simpson ‘80, Trustee and chair
  • Howard Eissenstat, Associate Professor of History
  • Kimberly Flint-Hamilton, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and Interim Title IX Coordinator
  • Sharee Freeman ‘76, Trustee
  • Colleen Manley, Director of Human Resources, Employee Labor Relations
  • Aswini Pai, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Tom Pynchon, Vice President for University Advancement
  • Paul Redfern, Vice President for University Communications and Institutional Strategy 
  • Alexander Reyes ‘23, Thelmo President
  • Eric Shinnick, Executive Director of Finance 

I look forward to working with John as he begins his position next month. Please join me in welcoming John and his wife Mary to the Laurentian community. I wish you all the best as we anticipate the start of the fall semester.


Kate Morris