MADISON, N.J., Feb. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Trustees of Drew University announced today that it has unanimously selected MaryAnn Baenninger, the president of the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., to be the new president of Drew University.
"I'm honored and delighted to be joining Drew University as its next president. It is exceedingly fortunate for me that Drew's aspirations and goals are a direct match for my experience and for the aspects of higher education that are especially dear to my heart," said Dr. Baenninger. "Drew is a very fine university, and it will be a privilege to be its leader. Together we will ensure that Drew is as robust as it can be."
Dr. Baenninger, who will assume her position on July 21, said her focus at Drew will be to build on its legacy of internationalism, embark on capital projects and raise Drew's visibility, while maintaining its longstanding tradition of excellence as a liberal arts institution.
"We are so pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. MaryAnn Baenninger, who was chosen out of a pool of more than 100 applicants," said William M. Freeman, Drew trustee and chair of the university's presidential search committee. "She's a brilliant scholar who represents the best overall match to our candidate profile."
Dr. Baenninger spent the last decade as the president of the College of Saint Benedict, a nationally ranked liberal arts college. During her tenure, she led a successful capital campaign, oversaw multiple construction projects and received national recognition for the college's study abroad programs, internationalization efforts and support for undergraduate research. She also diversified the student body while improving student quality and, as a result, increased the financial strength of her institution.
Previously, Dr. Baenninger was an executive at the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, served as an associate professor at The College of New Jersey and held assistant professor positions at Philadelphia University and Washington College in Maryland. She has a bachelor's degree and Ph.D. from Temple University, where she graduated summa cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She's also received professional certificates from Bryn Mawr College and Harvard University.
Freeman said Dr. Baenninger was chosen out of 109 applicants. He noted that Baenninger was consistently rated highly by her students during her years as a professor and has a proven track record of transforming the College of Saint Benedict during her time there. In addition to having a background as a professor and scholar, Dr. Baenninger is a sought after speaker who sits on the boards of many organizations and was one of three women chosen to serve on the board of trustees for the American University of Sharjah, a coeducational university in the United Arab Emirates.
Dr. Baenninger has always planned to retire from the College of Saint Benedict after approximately a decade of service, when she and the campus community felt a sense of having accomplished shared goals. She was true to her word, having scheduled her last day for June 30, with the intention of returning to her East Coast roots. "As I began my search, Drew was one of a very small set of institutions where I felt there could be a match," she said. "Once I got to know Drew better, and once I spent time on campus with the trustees, the faculty, the staff and the students, it just felt right. I couldn't imagine going anywhere else."
The entire Drew faculty, staff and student community, along with its trustees, is proud to welcome Dr. Baenninger.
About Drew University
Drew University is a private, liberal arts university located in Madison, N.J., just 29 miles west of New York City. Ranked among the top liberal arts institutions nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and Washington Monthly, Drew is also listed in Princeton Review's Best 378 Colleges. The Drew promise—We Deliver Full-Impact Learning to the World—emphasizes the university's commitment to borderless education that enables a student's greatest success in a globally connected world. Drew has a total student enrollment of more than 2,000 in three schools: the College of Liberal Arts, the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies and the Drew Theological School. The undergraduate program offers degrees in 30 different disciplines, while Caspersen and the Theological School offer degrees at the master's and doctoral levels.
SOURCE Drew University