By Madeline Clark
St. Michael’s College announced its first female president this afternoon. Lorraine Sterritt, Ph. D., the current president of Salem Academy and College in Winston-Salem, N.C. will begin her new position in July 2018.
“I was very impressed with the college’s commitment to academics, to humanity, and to the planet,” Sterritt told The Defender in a phone interview, describing her recent visit to the college.
The decision to hire Sterritt was a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees. She will take her position at a time when Saint Michael’s College faces a significant budget deficit, and declining enrollment.
Sterritt who studied French in her undergraduate and graduate years, said that when she recently visited the college she was struck by the Edmundite mission and “French flavor” of Vermont.
“I am not shy about touting the college, ” said Sterritt who was born and raised in Ireland and retains a light accent.
“Prior to assuming the position at Salem, Sterritt served as dean for administration at Harvard College, and as a member of the faculty of arts and sciences,” St. Michael’s College wrote in a press release. She has also held academic and administrative positions at Stanford University, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania.
She will replace John “Jack” Neuhauser, Ph. D., who has been president of the college for the past eleven years. There will be a press conference held in the McCarthy Arts Center at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
Sterritt said she looks forward to meeting the students, adding that “I really like to learn student names so they should come up to me.”