Monday, November 2, 2009

Dear Members of the Mount Holyoke Community,


President-designate Lynn Pasquerella.

A little after 4 pm today, the bells of Mary Lyon Hall will ring, inviting all of you to Chapin Auditorium to meet our next president. For those of you unable to come to Chapin in person this afternoon, we invite you to join us via webcast at 4:15 Eastern time.


At a special meeting on Saturday, October 31, the Board of Trustees enthusiastically and unanimously appointed Lynn Pasquerella the 18th president of Mount Holyoke College.

Lynn Pasquerella is a celebrated scholar, teacher, and academic leader whose training as an ethicist has helped her transcend traditional boundaries of the academy and engage with communities locally and around the globe. She is a passionate advocate for women's education and empowerment.

It is a source of immense pride that the best candidate for the job is also a Mount Holyoke alumna. A first-generation college student, Lynn found her way to Mount Holyoke in 1978, transferring in as a junior from Quinebaug Valley Community College. At Quinebaug she was encouraged by faculty members to move on to a rigorous and challenging four-year college. Still working full-time throughout the academic year to support herself, she graduated from Mount Holyoke magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 1980. She earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Brown University in 1985.

Lynn was a member of the philosophy department at the University of Rhode Island for nineteen years. Her subsequent rise through academic leadership has been meteoric. In 2004, Lynn became URI's associate dean of the graduate school. In 2006, she was named vice provost for research and dean of the graduate school. In 2008, she joined the University of Hartford as provost and chief academic officer.

In addition to success as a scholar who has written extensively in the areas of medical ethics, theoretical and applied ethics, metaphysics, public policy, and the philosophy of law, as well as significant accomplishments as an administrator, Lynn has been engaged throughout her career in efforts dedicated to effecting positive change locally and globally. She currently serves as project leader for a research team with the Africa Center for Engineering Social Solutions, focusing on empowering women in an AIDS-ravaged section of Kenya.

Lynn represents the ideal of a Mount Holyoke education. She embodies academic excellence, leadership, and a deep-seated commitment to the liberal arts and educational access. Colleagues laud her energy, compassion, and integrity. She is in the vanguard of a new generation of academic leaders who are taking the helm at a time of great challenge and opportunity for top liberal arts colleges. For Mount Holyoke, she is the perfect choice to lead us as we expand our presence on a global stage.

Lynn's presidency will begin on July 1, 2010. She will also be professor of philosophy at Mount Holyoke, as she is at the University of Hartford and was at the University of Rhode Island.

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who participated in the search process. The Presidential Search Committee considered thousands of thoughtful emails, survey responses, letters, and comments, which in sum formed the basis for the profile of the leader they sought to recruit. They, and I, could not be more pleased with the result.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge Joanne Creighton, whose leadership over the past fourteen years has brought Mount Holyoke to a position of unparalleled strength. Mount Holyoke continues its critical work under Joanne's leadership through the end of this academic year. We are fortunate to have someone of Lynn Pasquerella's intellect, passion, and integrity to carry on this work and to write the next chapter for this remarkable institution.


Leslie Anne Miller '73
Chair, Board of Trustees