Vanessa B. Beasley, Ph.D.
- President , President's Office
Vanessa B. Beasley is president of Trinity University, located in San Antonio, Texas. Trinity's academic and co-curricular environment is consistently ranked among the best colleges in the nation (U.S. News & World Report) and its faculty is recognized for its strong commitment to undergraduate teaching and scholarship (Wall Street Journal). Trinity’s curriculum blends the liberal arts and sciences with business and pre-professional programs, enriching students’ writing, speaking, and problem-solving skills. The University equips its 2,700 students through experiential learning, undergraduate research, and international engagement, equipping them to be global stewards for change. Beasley’s vision for Trinity is to reinvent liberal arts education for the 21st century and beyond, demonstrating the lifelong impact of learning how to learn and why discovery matters.
Beasley became Trinity’s 20th president in July 2022, after serving as a faculty member, administrator, and vice provost at Vanderbilt University. She began her academic career in 1988 at the University of Texas at Austin. She received a bachelor of arts in Communication Studies from Vanderbilt University and a master’s and doctorate in Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. Before returning to Vanderbilt to join its faculty in 2007, she served on the faculty at Texas A&M University, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Georgia. At every university where she has served, Beasley has been recognized for her teaching and mentorship. At Vanderbilt, Beasley’s numerous honors and awards included the Thomas Jefferson Award, which recognizes distinguished service by a faculty member to the university. She also received the Faculty Mentorship Award in the Rhetorical and Communication Theory Division from the National Communication Association, and she is currently serving as the president of her scholarly society, the Rhetoric Society of America.
Beasley’s research area is the history of U.S. political rhetoric with emphasis on the relationship between the presidency and the mass media. She is the author of You, the People: American National Identity in Presidential Rhetoric: 1885-2000 and the editor of the volume Who Belongs in America? Presidents, Rhetoric, and Immigration as well as numerous articles and book chapters. She is often sought out by the media to provide commentary on political speeches and presidential rhetoric and has been quoted in stories by Time, Newsweek, the Associated Press, and USA TODAY, among others.
Beasley and her husband, Trey, a community volunteer, are parents to two adult sons: Adam and Charlie.