Dear Alverno Community,
It is with great pleasure that I announce Alverno College’s Board of Trustees has unanimously elected Dr. Andrea Lee, IHM, as the eighth president of Alverno College. She will take office at the start of the 2016–2017 academic year, building on the extraordinary legacies of Sr. Joel Read and Dr. Mary Meehan.
Dr. Lee is nationally renowned in the field of higher education and we are thrilled to be bringing someone of her caliber to Alverno to follow in the footsteps of the amazing women leaders who came before her. Since 1998, she has served as president of St. Catherine University in Minneapolis-St. Paul, home to the nation’s largest Catholic college for women. During her tenure, overall enrollment increased by nearly 30 percent. The university also substantially increased philanthropic support to fund growth in academic programs, student scholarships and university facilities, and launched many new postgraduate and undergraduate programs.
Prior to St. Catherine’s, Dr. Lee served Marygrove College in Detroit in several leadership roles, including dean, chief financial officer and interim president. I am especially excited about how involved she becomes in her local community, and how sought after she is for community leadership. Just a few examples of that include her appointments to the Mayor’s Budget Review Committee in St. Paul and the Detroit Empowerment Zone projects review board. She also co-chaired a mayoral transition team in Detroit, working with a team to draft strategies to improve the city.
Nationally, Dr. Lee serves on the system-level board of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems. She has also held leadership roles with the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities as board member, conference presenter and adviser to new Catholic university presidents; and she served as national chair of the Religious Network for the Equality of Women, a group that advocates for economic justice for women.
Dr. Lee is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; the adoptive mother of a son from Haiti; and proud grandmother of two young boys. She is a soccer fan, an avid bicyclist and an accomplished liturgical musician known for enlivening campus traditions and celebrations.
Dr. Lee’s appointment is the culmination of an exhaustive eight-month search led by a 14-person committee comprising board members, faculty, staff and alumnae. Because of Alverno’s reputation, we received applications from around the world, and we are extremely pleased to name someone of Dr. Lee’s caliber and renown as Alverno’s next leader.
I hope you will join me in welcoming Dr. Lee—who likes to be called Sr. Andrea—to the Alverno community.
Many blessings to all of you,