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.