Ex-Officio Trustees

W. Scott Benton


Doctor of Chiropractic


Doctor of Chiropractic (DC)
MA in Counseling Psychology
MS Ed in Instructional Technology (Adult Learning)

Dr. Wesley (Scott) Benton joined Excelsior College's teaching faculty in the School of Health Sciences in 2013. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in distance higher education, having taught in both online and on-campus formats in institutions since 2004. As an educator, he specializes in leveraging technology to assist students in learning complex material.  He is known for his ability to create a supportive learning environment where both novice and experienced adult students thrive and learn. Dr. Benton co-chairs the College's Faculty Steering Committee.

In the School of Health Sciences at Excelsior, Dr. Benton teaches Anatomy and Physiology and numerous other health-related courses. He also regularly serves as a subject matter expert for the course development program, where he employs contemporary design strategies to craft health science courses that afford high-value learning opportunities. The College's innovative hands-on Anatomy and Physiology Labs are a recent result of his work.

In addition to a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree, he has earned two master's degrees, a MA in Counseling Psychology and a MS Ed in Instructional Technology (Adult Learning). In 2012, Benton was named Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Member and awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from Davenport University.  He is a member of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society and the American Association of Anatomists.

John Ebersole


President, Excelsior College


LPD, Northeastern University
Master of Public Administration, John F. Kennedy University
Master of Business Administration, John F. Kennedy University
EdS, The George Washington University
Distinguished Graduate, U.S. Naval War College
Certificate of Management of Learning & Education, Harvard University
Certificate in Pacific Basin Studies, University of Southern California


Sandler Fellowship in Education, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

John F. Ebersole is president of Excelsior College in Albany, New York, one of the oldest accredited, private, nonprofit distance education institutions in the country. His personal experience as a post-traditional student has informed his approach to adult education throughout his more than 30 year career in higher education.

He has held teaching and management positions at John F. Kennedy University and Boston University as well as management positions at the University of California–Berkeley and Colorado State University. He has developed such programs as the CSUN Network for Learning and Boston University's BU Global as well as Boston University's award-winning online program.

Ebersole chairs the American Association of Community Colleges Corporate Council and has been named to the ACE Presidential Innovation Lab. He also serves as chair of the Lighthouse Academies, a nonprofit charter school provider, and as a member of the board of directors of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (New York). He previously served as chair of the American Council on Education's Commission on Lifelong Learning and is a Hall of Fame inductee of both the United States Distance Learning Association and the International Association of Continuing Higher Education.

A former president of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), Ebersole is co-author (with William Patrick) of "Courageous Learning: Finding A New Path Through Higher Education" (Hudson Whitman Press/Excelsior College Press, 2011). The book was recently turned into "Courageous Learning: The Documentary" (Ellucian).

A retired Coast Guard commander and Vietnam veteran, Ebersole began his college education while in the military. In addition to being a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College, he earned a doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University, an EdS from The George Washington University, and master's degrees in both business and public administration from John F. Kennedy University. He has served as a senior fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, where he conducted research into innovation in higher education.

Dwayn M. Hanford


President, Excelsior College Alumni Association
Chief Warrant Officer Four, U.S. Army (Ret.) Team Chief and Senior Intelligence Officer, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command
Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies, American Military University


Associate degree in general studies
Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts, Excelsior College
Bachelor's diploma in strategic intelligence
Bachelor of Arts in history
Master of Science in strategic intelligence
Master of Science in management of the U.S. intelligence community
Master's degree in distance education and e-learning

Dwayn M. Hanford retired from the U.S. Army as an all-source intelligence technician, and is a team chief and senior intelligence officer for the Department of the Army Civilian in the 1st Information Operations Command, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

During his 23-year military career he received many awards, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medals, and Joint Service Commendation Medals. His campaigns include Desert Storm, Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He has been an active volunteer for many years and has shared his time and talents with various organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America where he currently serves as scoutmaster. In 2007, the Army awarded him the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. In 2008, he was honored with a Community Organization Award from the Boy Scouts of America. Hanford is the 2010 recipient of the Excelsior College C. Wayne Williams Award in recognition of outstanding public service and community involvement. A member of Excelsior's Alumni Advisory Board since 2012, he was elected president in July 2015.

In addition to the Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts he earned at Excelsior in 2005, Hanford has an associate degree in general studies, a bachelor's diploma in strategic intelligence, a Bachelor of Arts in history, a Master of Science in strategic intelligence, a Master of Science in management of the U.S. intelligence community, and a master's degree in distance education and e-learning.


Excelsior College
7 Columbia Circle
Albany, NY 12203-5159

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