UPenn Admissions Lieutenant Exits

UPenn’s #2 on its admissions team, John T. McLaughlin, will be leaving to lead Hamilton’s admissions department at year’s end (photo credit: Bryan Y.W. Shin).

Longtime University of Pennsylvania admissions staffer John T. McLaughlin, has announced that he will depart UPenn’s admissions office at year’s end to lead Hamilton College’s admissions staff. At Hamilton, McLaughlin will assume the role of the dean of admissions and associate vice president. McLaughlin, who has served in the role of vice dean and director of admissions since 2018 under two different admissions leaders, Eric Furda and Whitney Soule, is a 2005 UPenn graduate who even served as interim Dean of Admissions during the admissions cycle for the Class of 2025.

As Elea Castiglione reports for The Daily Pennsylvanian in a piece entitled “Penn director of admissions to leave University at end of year,” “This past year, McLaughlin oversaw the Class of 2026 cycle of admissions, which received 55,000 applications and was the first cycle in recent memory when Penn Admissions declined to immediately share the regular decision acceptance rate…In his position as vice dean and director of admissions, McLaughlin helped create a group in Penn Admissions that used experimental and data analytics to understand and improve the admissions process at Penn, according to a 2020 statement from former President Amy Gutmann and former Provost Wendell Pritchett announcing McLaughlin’s appointment as interim dean.”

Congratulations to longtime UPenn admissions staffer John T. McLaughlin on his appointment to lead Hamilton’s admissions department. But, hey, we wouldn’t be the least surprised to see McLaughlin back at UPenn several years from now leading his alma mater’s admissions team as well. Heck, Ivy Coach’s famously accurate crystal ball hereby makes this prediction. Stay tuned!


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  • Nez says:

    Hmmm. Are you predicting that Whitney Stole won’t last at Penn because of eventual dissatisfaction with her leadership in the admissions office or that Penn is just an interim stepping stone to bigger and better? My wife and I are both Penn grads and have other family members that are Penn grads. To be transparent, my son applied ED to Penn for the class of 2026 and did not get in, but he did get into Harvard, Princeton and Brown regular decision without any hooks. I have friends who have kids at Bowdoin, where Dean Stole came from, say that they they could not figure out what Dean Stole actually set as admission standards as there younger kids who were stronger candidates than their older kids at Bowdoin. Inquiring minds minds would like to know why you think Mr. McLaughlin will be back in a few years. Great blog and information on your site.

    • Ivy Coach says:

      Dean Whitney Soule has worked in admissions at Bates College, Connecticut College, Bowdoin College, and the University of Pennsylvania. She’s moved around a bit — as many do and as is their absolute right. Based on this history, we would not expect her to stay at UPenn for as long as her predecessor, Dean Eric Furda. And when the UPenn post opens, we would expect the longtime UPenn admissions lieutenant — who will now have experience leading another college’s admissions office — to return. That’s Ivy Coach’s crystal ball prediction. You heard it here first.

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