Head of School Peter H. Quimby Ph.D.,  '85, P'14

Peter H. Quimby ‘85, former deputy dean of the college at Princeton University, began his tenure as 28th head of school of The Governor’s Academy on July 1, 2011.

Quimby possesses a distinguished teaching and administrative career, having served in leadership roles at Princeton, Yale University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his role at Princeton, Quimby had general responsibility for all undergraduate academic programs, including the undergraduate curriculum. In addition, he supervised the work of the Princeton Writing Program, the Community-Based Learning Initiative, and the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning. As Secretary for the Committee on the Course of Study, he oversaw the approval of all new undergraduate courses and worked with academic departments on curricular requirements.

Quimby served as director of the Program of Freshman Seminars in the Residential Colleges, managing the income on an endowment of more than $10 million, served as primary investigator on a federal grant that directs federal and matching university funds for a consortium grant totaling nearly $1 million a year for three years, and served as chair of committees whose breadth of work ranges from academic technology and NCAA Athletics to disciplinary matters and the pedagogy of teaching and learning.

At Yale University, Quimby served as dean of Davenport  College, one of the university’s 12 residential colleges. He counseled students on academic and personal issues, and worked closely with Davenport undergraduates and theCollege Master on all administrative and support functions. During his tenure at Yale, Quimby was also a lecturer in the Department of Political Science.

Prior to Yale, Quimby was assistant dean of Chadbourne Residential College (CRC) and the Pathways to Excellence Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At UW-Madison, he managed a 700-student residential college, including course scheduling and academic programming for CRC. He provided training and orientation for faculty and staff participating in the life of CRC, and designed an alumni outreach project to engage this key group.

Quimby graduated Cum Laude from Governor Dummer Academy, as the school was then known, in 1985. At graduation, he received the Academy Prize, given by the faculty to the graduating senior “whose unselfishness and sportsmanship have best exemplified the spirit of the school.” He also won the Ambrose Speaking Prize and was a member of the Honor Society. His father, Howard E. Quimby Jr., is a member of the Class of 1952.

“Had I not attended an independent boarding school, my educational and personal goals would have been radically different, in large part because it was my experience at the Academy that opened my eyes to new possibilities,” said Quimby. “As a student who attended GDA on financial aid, I benefitted from the generosity of others. For that I am deeply grateful and also determined to increase our financial aid endowment so that we can attract other students for whom an independent school education may appear out of reach.”

Quimby received his bachelor’s degree in government and Russian from Bowdoin College in 1989, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992, and a Ph.D. in political science from that same institution in 1999. His dissertation topic explored religion and politics in post-Soviet Russia and Ukraine.

He earned fellowships to study at UW-Madison, Harvard University, and Indiana University, and has been a lecturer and teaching assistant at Yale and UW-Madison.

Quimby was a member of The Governor’s Academy board of trustees from 2007-2010, serving as vice president and chair of the education policy committee. He serves on the Committee on Qualifications of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, reviewing applications for new PBK chapters; and the Bowdoin College President’s Visiting Committee.

He is married to Laurie Zug Quimby, M.D., a former staff physician at University Health Services at Princeton University. The couple has two children, Katie '14 and Timothy. 

Quimby Educational Philosophy

Quimby Curriculum Vitae


More from Dr. Quimby 

The below are samples of remarks Head of School Dr. Quimby has shared during his time at Governor's. 

Developing Passions 

For Others

Reflections on Character 

Diversity Matters 

Holding on to Hope

Celebrating with Pride

Appreciating Difference 

Practicing Empathy



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