College of Saint Benedict names new president

This announcement from St. Ben’s:

College of Saint Benedict names Mary Hinton as 15th President

Mary Hinton has been selected as the 15th president of the College of Saint Benedict.

Hinton (Courtesy of College of St. Benedict)

Hinton, who currently serves as the vice president for academic affairs at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY, will take office on June 15, 2014.

The appointment was made after a unanimous vote by the College of Saint Benedict Board of Trustees and was announced by Lynn Newman, chair of the CSB Board of Trustees and a co-chair of the CSB Presidential Search Committee.

“The CSB Board of Trustees was impressed with Dr. Hinton’s breadth and depth of experience as a scholar and senior-level administrator in higher education,” Newman said. “Her commitment to residential, liberal arts education is evident, and her passion for the advancement of women and her belief in our Benedictine values align well with the CSB mission. We are confident that she will be an outstanding president of CSB.”

I am humbled by the opportunity to lead an institution with such a powerful liberal arts tradition that is grounded in the Benedictine values of the founding order,” Hinton said. “CSB was built by strong and courageous women who knew the value of educating women and who celebrated and engaged both their intellectual and spiritual lives.”

At Mount Saint Mary College, a Dominican college, Hinton provides senior administrative leadership for academic affairs, enrollment management, planning, assessment and institutional research and student affairs, among other areas.

Hinton’s passion for student retention led to the development of the Center for Student Success, a model program that provides comprehensive academic support services to improve student retention and persistence. She has extensive strategic planning and institutional effectiveness experience and chairs the college’s Strategic Planning and Budgeting Committee.

Prior to her position at Mount Saint Mary College, Hinton was the associate vice president of academic affairs and chief planning and diversity officer at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa. In this position she was responsible for all strategic planning activities, select areas of academic affairs including the Student Success Center and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the Diversity Institute.

She was also a member of the Mercy Integration Council, a group that sought to integrate the mission of the founding order, the Sisters of Mercy, into campus life. Initially at Misericordia University, she served as an assistant professor of religious studies and the coordinator of multicultural student affairs.

In addition to her extensive experience in higher education, Hinton’s career includes non-profit education organization management, philanthropic work in the corporate sector and work as a private elementary school teacher.

She earned a doctoral degree in religion and religious education with high honors from Fordham University, a Master of Arts degree in clinical child psychology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Williams College.

Rita Knuesel, provost of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, affirms that Hinton is the ideal person to lead CSB into its second century. “Dr. Hinton has dedicated her entire career to education and therefore has developed a keen understanding of the changing landscape of higher education in the U.S,” Knuesel said. “She is a visionary who is able to draw on her professional education and background to articulate the significance of the liberal arts as well as professional programs.”

“I am delighted that Saint Ben’s has chosen Dr. Hinton as its next president,” said Michael Hemesath, president of SJU. “She is the perfect combination of scholar and administrator, and I look forward to working closely with her to advance both Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s and our coordinate relationship.”

Hinton, her husband, Robert Williams, and their children, Hallela, Hillel and Hosanna, plan to move to Minnesota in June and make their home at the Renner House, the college’s presidential residence in St. Joseph.

She succeeds MaryAnn Baenninger, who announced in October 2013 that she would step down in June 2014, after serving 10 years as president of the college.