Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Thursday, June 21, 2018

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NEW HAVEN – Dr. Julia M. McNamara, president of Albertus Magnus College for 34 years, will retire on June 30, 2016, the end of the current academic year.

Joseph R. Crespo, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, announced Dr. McNamara’s retirement to the Albertus community Sept. 29.  She will continue to be available to the campus and assist with the transition for the new president for a year following her retirement. The board of trustees at its Sept. 18 meeting voted to confer on her the honorary title of president emerita. 

Dr. McNamara joined the college as a faculty member while pursuing and completing doctoral studies in French literature at Yale University, and later became dean of students at Albertus.

Mr. Crespo noted that Dr. McNamara has been an “inspiration to the entire Albertus community and to the many organizations she has served over the years in the Greater New Haven community and beyond. Her commitment, leadership and dedication to this college and its mission of service have impacted the lives of thousands of students and their families.”

Under her leadership, Albertus has thrived and built upon its Dominican heritage and liberal arts foundation. During her presidency, there have been many significant accomplishments: transition to coeducation; expansion of accelerated programs for working adults; expansion of academic program delivery to include online, blended, FLEX and traditional classroom experience; and establishment of 10 master’s degree programs, including the Master of Arts in Art Therapy, the only program of its kind in Connecticut.

Also during these years, the college completed the expansion and construction of several campus facilities, including the Tagliatela Academic Center; the Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center; the Celentano turf field; and the transition of Rosary Hall, the college’s first building, from traditional library to state-of-the-art learning center. Renovations to Aquinas Hall provided additional space for Devaney Lecture Hall and Bree Common. 

Jeanne M. Dennison, a member of the Albertus class of 1978 and member of the board of trustees since 1999, has been elected by the trustees to chair the board, effective Nov. 13. As the board chair, Ms. Dennison will also lead the search committee for Dr. McNamara’s successor.

The committee will reflect the campus community, including a representative from the Dominican Sisters of Peace, the college’s sponsoring organization; faculty; administration; board members; alumni; and others. Following an inclusive process of discernment and dialogue, the committee expects to make its recommendations to the board of trustees in spring 2016.

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