Spring Hill College names new president

Mary Van Brunt becomes the first woman to serve in the Catholic college’s top leadership role

Mary Van Brunt, Ph.D., has been named the 39th president of Spring Hill College, the first woman to hold the role in the school’s history.

“I look forward to connecting with the Spring Hill community and carrying out the centuries-old Jesuit tradition of caring for the intellectual, spiritual and social growth of our future servant leaders,” said Van Brunt.

Van Brunt has more than 20 years of leadership experience in Catholic higher education, having served most recently as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Gwynedd Mercy University in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania. She also has experience as a founding academic dean at Cabrini University in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Her areas of strength include strategic planning, new program development and assessment, fundraising and team building. In addition, she spent time in the classroom as an economics professor.

Prior to her time in higher education, she spent 12 years in banking, securities and the pharmaceutical industry.

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She has been inducted into several honor societies, including Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars, Beta Sigma Gamma Honor Society and the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Catholic Honor Society. She is also a published author, consultant, certified global business professional and prior certified management accountant.

She succeeds Joseph Lee II, who has led the college since 2018. Lee is retiring in December.

“With Dr. Joe Lee’s anticipated retirement this winter, Spring Hill undertook an extensive, national presidential search for the most qualified leader to fulfill and sustain its Jesuit Catholic mission,” said Jack McKinney, chairman of Spring Hill College Board of Trustees. “After carefully vetting more than three dozen pre-screened candidates, we are delighted that Dr. Van Brunt has graciously accepted the offer to become our next president.”

Spring Hill College, in Mobile, was founded in 1830 and is the oldest Catholic college in the Southeast and the third oldest Jesuit college in the United States.

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