About Dr. Baenninger | Drew University | Inaugural ThemeMadison, New Jersey

MaryAnn Baenninger, PhD

mab MaryAnn Baenninger was drawn to Drew for many reasons: its innovative approach to the arts and humanities, its emphasis on hands-on learning in the STEM fields, its pioneering international learning models and its deep commitment to social justice and civic engagement, which reflect the University’s history as a Methodist institution. She sees Drew’s strengths as centering on deep student-faculty relationships, rich mentoring experiences and strong engagement with “our cities”—New York, Madison, Newark and Morristown—as well as the cities of origin of our community members.

In addition to the formal installation ceremony, Drew’s Presidential Inauguration is a celebration of Dr. Baenninger’s leadership during her first year and the progress already achieved on key goals, such as raising Drew’s visibility, expanding its cutting-edge programs, enhancing its reputation as a global learning destination and planning for the future of facilities that enhance learning. Drew’s progress thus far bodes well for Dr. Baenninger’s tenure as the 13th president.

Dr. Baenninger comes to Drew with a rich set of experiences to guide her. As President of the College of Saint Benedict for a decade prior to coming to Drew, Dr. Baenninger led a successful capital campaign, diversified the student body, completed multiple construction projects and increased the college’s identity at the forefront of global education.

In July 2014, she brought this expertise and leadership to Drew.

Before becoming a college president, Dr. Baenninger was executive associate director with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in Philadelphia, where she consulted with numerous institutions on obtaining and maintaining their accreditation status. She is considered an expert in higher education assessment and has lectured widely on the topic.

Dr. Baenninger comes to the Drew Presidency with a teaching and scholarly background in higher education. She was a tenured faculty member in the psychology department at The College of New Jersey during most of her teaching career and, prior to that, held teaching positions at Philadelphia University and Washington College. She earned her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, at Temple University, where she also completed her PhD. She also earned professional certificates in higher education administration from Bryn Mawr College and Harvard University. Dr. Baenninger has published extensively in the field of gender and cognition.

Drew University

Drew University, a Phi Beta Kappa liberal arts university, includes the College of Liberal Arts, the Drew Theological School and the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies. Drew is located on a beautiful, wooded, 186-acre campus in Madison, New Jersey, a thriving small town close to New York City. Particularly noteworthy opportunities for undergraduates include the Wall Street Semester, Semester at the United Nations, Semester on Contemporary Art and Semester in Communications and Media in New York City, and several international semester opportunities. The university is home to the Center for Civic Engagement, the Drew Summer Science Institute, the Charles A. Dana Research Institute for Scientists Emeriti (RISE) and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, an independent professional theater, as well as the United Methodist Archives and History Center and one of the country’s leading concentrations of materials on Willa Cather.

Inaugural Theme

The University and the City is inspired by the ways in which the Drew community engages with the world beyond the Forest. From diverse internships with local nonprofits to corporate enterprises to semesters spent exploring faraway lands, Drew itself is an open gateway for building community, making connections and educating on a world-class scale. Read the special issue of Drew Magazine, framed around our theme, the University and the City.

Madison, New Jersey

Drew University is located in the charming town of Madison. Established in 1710, Madison was once the hub of America’s rose-growing industry, earning its nickname “The Rose City” in the mid-19th century. Only 30 miles outside of midtown Manhattan, Madison offers all the sophistication of a New York suburb combined with the homespun comfort of Main Street USA. The vibrant downtown is comprised of unique shops, tree-lined streets, art galleries and more than 40 casual and fine dining restaurants—all within a 10-minute walk from the Drew campus. Street and municipal parking downtown is free.

Read the Drew Magazine story “Town Meet Gown,” about Drew fostering a multifaceted and mutually beneficial partnership with its hometown.

To find out more about Madison, please visit rosenet.org.

President MaryAnn Baenninger with Madison Mayor Conley (bottom right). In Madison, Drew students serve on the Downtown Development Commission, volunteer on the ambulance squad and receive career advice from local business leaders.
President MaryAnn Baenninger with Madison Mayor Conley (bottom right). In Madison, Drew students serve on the Downtown Development Commission, volunteer on the ambulance squad and receive career advice from local business leaders.