With the goals of raising Drew’s visibility, enhancing its reputation as a global learning destination, embarking on several much-needed capital projects, and building on the success of its innovative programs, Dr. MaryAnn Baenninger begins her tenure as Drew’s 13th president.
President Baenninger comes to Drew fresh off of her success in transforming a small, single-sex Catholic liberal arts college in Minnesota into a nationally-recognized institution. During the decade she spent at the College of Saint Benedict prior to coming to Drew, she led a successful capital campaign, diversified the student body, completed multiple construction projects, and increased international learning.
In July 2014, she brought her expertise and leadership to Drew.
Ranked among the top liberal arts institutions nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and Washington Monthly, Drew is also listed in The Princeton Review’s “Best 379 Colleges.” The undergraduate program offers degrees in 30 different disciplines, while the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies and the Theological School offer degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels. The Drew promise—We Deliver Full-Impact Learning to the World—emphasizes the university’s commitment to borderless education that enables a student’s greatest success in a globally connected world.
As a longtime advocate of a liberal arts education, Baenninger is perfectly poised to usher in the next exciting chapter in Drew’s long and distinguished history.
She said she was drawn to Drew for many reasons, including its innovative approach to the arts and humanities, its emphasis on hands-on learning in the STEM fields, its pioneering international learning models, as well as its deep commitment to social justice and community engagement, which reflect Drew’s roots as a faith-based institution.
“With our strength in international education, civic engagement, and our semesters in New York City, Drew is poised to assume its rightful place in higher education in the U.S.,” she said. “Drew offers students a rigorous liberal arts education, shaped by unique learning experiences in the larger world, that prepares them not only for a specific career, but for any challenge.”
Before becoming a college president, 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. In addition, she is considered an expert in higher education assessment and has lectured widely on the topic.
She also was a tenured faculty member at The College of New Jersey and held assistant professor positions at Philadelphia University and Washington College in Maryland.
At TCNJ, Baenninger was extensively involved in the development of the undergraduate research program, including the founding of the college’s Journal of Student Scholarship. She has served as a Councilor and Executive Board member of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and is a member of the American Psychological Association and the American Association for Higher Education.
She has a bachelor’s degree and PhD in psychology from Temple University, where she graduated summa cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She’s also received professional certificates form Bryn Mawr College and Harvard University. She has published extensively on gender and cognition and outcomes assessment in higher education.
In addition to being a professor and scholar, Baenninger is a sought-after speaker who sat on the boards of many organizations, including the Women’s College Coalition Board, the Council on Independent Colleges and Minnesota Public Radio and is a trustee at the American University of Sharjah, a US-accredited private coeducational university in the United Arab Emirates.
She lives at Hilltop House, the president’s residence, with her husband Ron, a retired Temple University professor. She has a son and daughter-in-law, a daughter and son-in-law, and four grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys renovating houses, sewing, gardening and reading English crime novels.