Stanford’s director of admission leaving for the Big Apple

Shawn Abbott
Shawn Abbott

After helping shepherd four undergraduate classes – from the Class of 2011 to the Class of 2014 – into Stanford, Shawn Abbott, director of  admission, will be leaving the Farm to become assistant vice president for undergraduate admissions at New York University.

“It will give me an opportunity to be a major university’s chief admission officer, something I have been longing to do for quite some time,” Abbott said in an email message. “New York University receives more applications than any other private university in America, so I have a huge challenge on the horizon.”

New York University is one of the largest private universities in the nation, with 40,000 students attending 18 schools and colleges at five major centers in Manhattan – the center of the university is its Washington Square campus in the heart of Greenwich Village – and sites in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

Abbott, whose last day at Stanford will be May 14, begins his new job on June 1.

By leaving the Farm, Abbott will be exchanging the Cardinal for the Violets, and the Tree – Stanford’s unofficial, but beloved mascot – for the bobcat.

Asked what he will miss, Abbott mentioned Palm Drive and sunshine.

“But more importantly, I’ll miss the people I’ve met more than anything,” he said. “I always tell people that I’ve made double the number of friends at Stanford and in San Francisco in half the time I lived in New York. It’s really that friendly and welcoming of a place.”

Before coming to Stanford, Abbott was senior associate director of admissions at Columbia University in New York City.

“I’ll also really miss representing a university that so accurately captures the pioneering spirit of the American West,” Abbott said. “It’s a place that excites everyone who knows it and it’s been a great ride getting to be one of Stanford’s ambassadors. I’ve been very lucky.”

—Kathleen J. Sullivan