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Mooney to step down as SMC president after 2015-2016

| Thursday, June 25, 2015

On Tuesday, Saint Mary’s President Carol Ann Mooney announced her retirement after the 2015-2016 academic year.

At that point, Mooney will have led Saint Mary’s for 12 years as its first lay alumna president.

Mary Burke, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said in a press release that the Board is grateful for all Mooney accomplished during her tenure as president.

“Her most lasting legacy will be the Faith Always, Action Now campaign, the most successful capital campaign in our history, raising $105 million which will benefit generations of future Saint Mary’s students through scholarships and improved facilities,” Burke said.

Mooney’s legacy as 11th president of the College will include the formation of three graduate programs that were announced earlier this year. In addition, the College’s endowment increased to over $160 million in spite of the Great Recession, the press release said.

During her tenure, the College has increased the percentage of the student body from historically underrepresented groups from nine to 19. She also oversaw the establishment of the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) to support and educate students on sexual and dating violence.

In her final academic year, Mooney will oversee the College’s reaccreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, complete fundraising for the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex and obtain approval of a new master plan for the campus.

Another priority during her last year as president will be to chair the newly announced Presidential Task Force on Sexual Violence, which will be made up of students, faculty and staff members. The task force will recommend ways to further improve the College’s efforts to prevent sexual assault and misconduct and to assist and support student survivors of sexual assault.

The Task Force was announced in the wake of the release of the CNN documentary “The Hunting Ground,” which detailed several allegations of sexual assault against Saint Mary’s students. Mooney declined to be interviewed for the film, but later spoke at a showing of it on campus.

“My decision to retire next May comes at a natural time,” Mooney wrote in a letter to students. “Thank you for being the wonderful young women you are and for the support and friendship you have extended to me in so many ways at so many junctures.”

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About Haleigh Ehmsen

A senior at Saint Mary's, Haleigh is majoring in Communication Studies and English Literature & Writing. She serves as the Saint Mary's editor and enjoys coffee, guacamole and good books.

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