Carl Thomas, chair of the Spalding University Board of Trustees, announced today that Tori Murden McClure will become the University’s tenth president. She will officially begin her presidency on July 1, 2010.
“As we begin an exciting new chapter at Spalding University, we could not be more delighted to have as the next leader of the institution an individual like Ms. McClure. Not only is she deeply engrained within the Louisville community, she brings a significant passion for and understanding of higher education, and specifically, Spalding University. We are poised for a very bright future,” Thomas says.
The University’s Board of Trustees selected McClure, who currently serves as the Vice President of External Relations, Enrollment Management, and Student Affairs at Spalding, after an extensive six-month search that attracted outstanding candidates from across the nation. A Presidential Search Committee and the search firm RPA Inc. of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, headed the search.
“Guiding this process, which was national in scope and very thorough, has been challenging, but so very rewarding. Tori Murden McClure is excited about her new responsibilities and eager to lead Spalding University into a bright future,” says David Fannin, co-chair of the presidential search committee.
McClure will succeed Dr. Jo Ann Rooney, who announced her departure from the university last fall after seven years of service. During her time at the university, Rooney has been instrumental in re-establishing a sound fiscal foundation, creating innovative academic delivery formats and in particular, developing a national reputation for adult learning.
“Simply stated, we desired a unique individual to lead this institution, which boasts a history and tradition of educational excellence begun by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in 1814,” says Sr. M. Serra Goethals, Ph.D., co-chair of the search committee. “While numerous candidates were considered who brought the leadership component and academic experience, Ms. McClure is also able to claim deep roots in the community and a true passion for Spalding’s position and potential for growth.”
A long-time resident of Louisville, McClure has extensive ties to the Louisville community and local government and has served many roles prior to joining Spalding in 2004, including director of development at the Muhammad Ali Center, project manager for Empowerment Zone Initiatives at the Louisville Development Authority, project coordinator for public policy in the Office of the Mayor, and director of the Women’s Center of Volunteers of America.
“Our entire senior leadership team and the campus community have a wonderful working relationship with Mrs. McClure. This transition will be swift as we continue on our upward momentum as a doctoral level institution,” states L. Randy Strickland, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.
McClure is an advocate of higher education and strong promoter of Spalding University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College, a Master of Divinity from Harvard University, and her Juris Doctor from the University of Louisville law school. In 2005, she completed her Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Spalding University; her nonfiction book A Pearl in the Storm (Harper Collins, 2009), about her journey as the first woman and first American to row solo across the mid-Atlantic Ocean, is based upon her creative thesis for the program. The book was recently recognized as a 2010 Christopher Award winner.
“Succeeding Dr. Rooney will be an honor. Throughout our history, the majority of our alumni have devoted their careers to the service of others. In an age in which notions like “community” and “citizenship” seem to have lost meaning, institutions like Spalding University are more vital than ever,” says McClure. “I look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with my colleagues as we endeavor to live up to the examples of teaching and stewardship so honorably established at the core of our mission by Mother Catherine Spalding and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth."
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