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Mary Pat Seurkamp Will Retire From College of Notre Dame of Maryland in 2012 After 15 Years as President

May 3, 2011

College of Notre Dame of Maryland President Mary Pat Seurkamp has announced plans to retire at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year, her 15th as president and her 43rd as a leader in higher education. President Seurkamp shared her plans with students, faculty and staff at a lunchtime gathering today. 

“Leadership requires us to build a strong foundation for the next generation of leaders,” said President Seurkamp in her letter to the Board of Trustees, delivered at its May 2 meeting. “I certainly inherited an institution with a rich history, fine academic programs and a stellar reputation upon which we were able to lead Notre Dame to the next level of distinction. I trust I leave to the next president core strengths from which new transformational steps will be taken.”

“Today is bittersweet for all of us at College of Notre Dame. After nearly 15 years, Mary Pat’s mark is indelible and her accomplishments remarkable,” said Patricia J. Mitchell ’69, chair of the College Board of Trustees. “Her legacy is a world-class institution of higher learning—Notre Dame of Maryland University—where Catholic ideals of service and character remain valued and where women and men can grow as leaders who change lives.”

"Mary Pat’s deep faith, courage and perseverance have been hallmarks of her leadership at College of Notre Dame. She has articulated and fostered the SSND ‘conviction that the world can be changed through the transformation of persons.’ We are grateful for her leadership and the legacy she leaves,” said Sister Kathleen Cornell, School Sisters of Notre Dame Provincial Leader.

A national search for President Seurkamp’s successor is under way. U.S. District Court Judge Irene Keeley, a Trustee and graduate of the College, has been asked by the Board to chair the Presidential Search Committee, which will also include representation from critical constituencies, including Trustees, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, faculty, staff, students and graduates. Notre Dame’s Board has chosen the search firm of Academic Search Inc. to manage the process and plans to name a successor in spring of 2012, with a term that will begin in July 2012.

President Seurkamp is Notre Dame’s 11th president and the first permanent layperson to hold the position in the school’s 116 year history. Since taking office in 1997, she has led the school through a period of tremendous growth and progress, beginning with a triumphant Legacy of Leadership campaign, the largest fundraising effort in the College’s history, which raised more than $34 million. During her tenure, President Seurkamp helped generate total support of nearly $75 million for facilities, academic programs and the school’s endowment. 

Over the course of her 15 years at the College, President Seurkamp spearheaded the expansion of academic programs to meet the needs of non-traditional students through the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies. She successfully established Notre Dame as a leader in health care education, with the launch of the School of Pharmacy and expansion of nursing programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. She realigned academic programs into the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Education and School of Nursing; established the Ph.D. in education, the first doctoral program to be offered at the College; undertook $120 million in much-needed capital projects involving the construction, expansion and renovation of residential and academic facilities; and led Notre Dame through the historic decision to become Notre Dame of Maryland University on September 9, 2011.

College of Notre Dame of Maryland 
College of Notre Dame of Maryland, a Catholic liberal arts college founded in 1895 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, engages students as confident, capable learners and leaders, thriving in the vibrant, personal community of its distinguished Women’s College, College for Adult Undergraduate Studies and graduate programs. Rich in tradition, Notre Dame provides students with opportunities in research, study abroad and service to the global community. Notre Dame’s graduates change lives—in their careers, communities and families. In September 2011, the College becomes Notre Dame of Maryland University. Visit www.ndm.edu.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: A copy of President Seurkamp’s letter to the campus community and media FAQ are available on the College’s website at www.ndm.edu.