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Janice A. Cervelli Inaugurated as Saint Mary’s 12th President

Monday, November 14, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kelly Smith
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Janice A. Cervelli is Inaugurated as Saint Mary’s College’s 12th President

November 14, 2016 (Notre Dame, Ind.) — Saint Mary’s College formally installed Janice A. Cervelli as the 12th president of Saint Mary’s College on Saturday afternoon, November 12. The Inaugural Ceremony took place in O’Laughlin Auditorium before an assembly of about 1,000 — including trustees, administrators, faculty, students, alumnae, and delegates from more than 30 colleges and universities. President Cervelli came into office on June 1. It is customary that the president of a college or university is inaugurated several months after actually coming into the position.

During her Inaugural Address, President Cervelli said, “I promise you that I will put all my strength into living up to the tradition of excellence that I have inherited, and carrying it forward with the same indomitable spirit.”

She also offered a glimpse of her unfolding vision, “I feel called to accelerate the growth of Saint Mary’s, to develop a culture of innovation, to fully support trail blazers throughout the College, and to foster a spirit of creative problem solving that meets the needs of our time.”

President Cervelli is homegrown, growing up on Riverside Drive in South Bend, across the St. Joseph River from Saint Mary’s College. She attended Holy Cross Grade School and Saint Joseph High School and went on to earn a bachelor of science degree from Purdue University’s College of Agriculture and a master of landscape architecture from the University of Guelph.

She comes to Saint Mary’s from the University of Arizona, where she served for eight years as Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture. Previously, she was Dean of the Clemson University College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities from 2000-2007.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was among a series of representatives at the ceremony who welcomed President Cervelli to her new position. “Saint Mary’s has been and must continue to be a source for progress that strengthens the fabric of our community. Who better to lead the College in that effort than a daughter of South Bend who grew up just across the river?”

Kelly O’Shea Carney ’84, president of the Alumnae Association Board of Directors, said in her welcome, “As an accomplished academic leader whose career has demonstrated vision, strength, conviction, and commitment to the same values that have guided Saint Mary’s over the last 172 years, Jan is exactly the kind of strong, smart, principled leader we expect and appreciate at Saint Mary’s.”

During the Investiture portion of the program, Chair of Board of Trustees Mary L. Burke entrusted President Cervelli with the mantle of leading the 172-year-old Catholic, women’s, liberal arts college. In the process, President Cervelli:

Accepts her responsibility to advance the Mission of Saint Mary’s College as a sponsored institution of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
Affirms the College’s commitment to the vital engagement with the liberal arts, to educating women and transforming lives.
Affirms the College’s commitment to living out the rich possibilities of its Catholic tradition.
Recognizes her responsibility to lead this institution with all members of this community and to foster a shared commitment to the intellectual, spiritual, social, and physical development of the Saint Mary’s student.
Burke then asked the assembly to bless the College’s new president, praying that God guide her in the ways of justice and peace so that Saint Mary’s College will thrive under President Cervelli’s leadership and become an even greater force for positive changes in the world.

Burke also surprised the president with an Apostolic Blessing from His Holiness Pope Francis. The framed blessing states that the pope “invokes an abundance of heavenly graces and the continued protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary” on Janice A. Cervelli.

About Saint Mary's College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, residential, women’s liberal arts college offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study, such as business, nursing, art, chemistry, and social work. Saint Mary’s College also offers two graduate degrees: a Master of Science and a Doctorate. All programs that fall under these degrees are co-educational and include a Master of Science in Data Science, a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s College seeks, according to its mission statement, to educate students, develop their talents, and prepare them to make a difference in the world. Saint Mary’s College ranks among the top 100 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges for 2016 published by U.S. News & World Report. Follow Saint Mary's College on Twitter @saintmarys and @saintmarysnews.

Contact for News Media: Gwen O'Brien, Director of Integrated Communications, Saint Mary’s College, gobrien@saintmarys.edu (574) 284-4579


Gwen O'Brien
Director of Integrated Communications/ Courier Editor
Department of Integrated Marketing Communications
307 Haggar College Center
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 284-4579