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New president named for St. Michael's College

Dr. Lorraine Sterritt, a national leader in higher education with experience at some of America’s finest institutions, has been named the 17th president of St. Michael's College.

Sterritt will be the first woman to hold the position in the college’s history. She currently serves as president of Salem Academy and College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The Presidential Search Committee announced its selection Jan. 26 to the St. Michael’s community. Dr. Sterritt will assume her duties as president in July 2018.

On Tuesday Jan. 30, there will be a community introduction and press conference with her.

“The committee is thrilled to have Dr. Sterritt, a scholar and experienced administrator, coming to lead the college at such a crucial time in our history,” said Mary-Kate McKenna ’80, Presidential Search Committee chair and chair of the St. Michael's College Board of Trustees.

Sterritt holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in French from Queen’s University Belfast and a master’s degree and a doctorate in French from Princeton University. Prior to assuming the position at Salem, she served as dean for administration at Harvard College and as a member of the faculty of arts and sciences. Prior to Harvard, she held positions as associate dean and associate vice provost and was a member of the faculty at Stanford University. Previously she had held positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard and Princeton University.

“Dr. Sterritt possesses a deep love of the liberal arts and a clear vision for the future of higher education,” McKenna said. “She was the unanimous choice of the Board of Trustees, and we all look forward to working with Dr. Sterritt in the years ahead. We are at a pivotal time in higher education and Dr. Sterritt is the visionary president we need to lead St. Michael’s College boldly into the future.”

Edmundite Father Stephen Hornat, ’72, superior general of the Society of Saint Edmund and search committee member, said it is no surprise to him that out of the 65 applicants to apply, Sterritt would rise to the top of the list. “We are fortunate to attract someone of her caliber. Her graciousness and warmth mesh well with our Edmundite tradition of hospitality,” he said. “She will make a great president and will have the prayers and support of the Edmundite and larger St. Michael’s community.”

Current St. Michael's College President John J. Neuhauser said, “St. Michael's is a special place and Dr. Lorraine Sterritt is a wonderful choice to lead the college at this time.” Neuhauser said Sterritt brings “an intelligence and depth of understanding of the importance of a liberating education to our nation, and she couples this with a genuine concern for all members of the college community, students, alumni, staff and faculty. Years from now we will only grow in appreciation for the fine work of the search committee.”

Sterritt expressed her enthusiasm to join the community of St. Michael's College. “I am very excited and deeply honored to assume the presidency of St. Michael’s College,” she said. “The people with whom I met in the interview process impressed me with their dedication to learning and service to humanity grounded in Edmundite ideals. Their devotion to the welfare of humanity and to care for the environment is exemplary.”

Sterritt added that she and her husband, Bert Lain, “are thrilled to be joining the St. Michael's community.”
 
 
 
  • Published in Diocesan
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