Leggett appointed university’s first executive director of residential life


Kawanna Leggett, director of residential education at the University of California, Berkeley, has been appointed Washington University in St. Louis’ first executive director of residential life, effective March 20, announced Lori S. White, vice chancellor for student affairs.

Leggett will lead a team of 40 central staff, 70 housekeepers and more than 150 student employees; manage an annual budget of $50 million; and further strengthen Washington University’s unique learning-living communities. More than 70 percent of Washington University undergraduates live in residential life housing on or near campus.

“Our residential life program is a critical component of the Washington University undergraduate experience and is consistently ranked among the nation’s best,” White said. “Kawanna has the experience, the energy and the ideas to grow this already exceptional program. We are excited to have appointed such an outstanding leader as our first executive director of Residential Life.”

Prior to her tenure at the University of California, Berkeley, Leggett worked at New York University, the College of New Jersey, Clemson University and the University of Arkansas. She earned her undergraduate degree from Clemson University and graduate degree in higher education from University of Arkansas. Leggett said she is impressed with Washington University’s culture of care for its students.  

“During my on-campus visit, I was especially inspired by the dedication of the residential life team,” Leggett said. “I look forward to connecting and collaborating with the students, staff and faculty of Washington University.”

Rob Wild, associate vice chancellor for student affairs at Washington University, said Leggett’s track record set her apart. “Kawanna has a commitment to individual student success and values the inclusion of faculty and academic programs into the residential community,” Wild said.

“We were fortunate in our search to find a leader who shares the values that define the Office of Residential Life.”

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