ALLEGANY, N.Y. — The president of St. Bonaventure University, Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF, has been named chairman of the board of directors of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. ACCU oversees cooperative efforts among its member institutions and promotes the good work being done at its schools.
Sr. Margaret, who was previously the ACCU secretary, began her two-year term on Feb. 1. She succeeds the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, CM, president of DePaul University in Chicago.
The president of the Western New York university was also asked to serve a three-year term as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Catholic Education. The committee provides guidance for the educational mission of the Catholic Church in the United States, including its elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and college campus ministry.
On Feb. 22, Sr. Margaret opened the inaugural “Ours to Do: Women Leading the Way” lecture series at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., discussing how 13th century Franciscan women have inspired modern-day leaders. “We, who are inheritors of the Franciscan Project, have deep within us an incredible sister and brother relationship,” Sr. Margaret is quoted as saying. “Mutuality was a characteristic at the heart of the movement.”
President of SBU since 2004, Sr. Margaret is emerging as an international leader in the Catholic educational community. She has focused on the centrality of the Franciscan mission and in establishing SBU as a leading international resource for the Franciscans. In 2009, the Irish Voice newspaper named her among the top 100 educators in North America.
“Sr. Margaret is a dynamic leader, with proven dedication to the principles of diversity, collaboration, and commitment to the Catholic identity,” said Dr. Michael Galligan-Stierle, president and CEO of ACCU. “We are delighted to have her and these other distinguished leaders join the board. I look forward to working with all of the members, new and returning, as we continue to proclaim the good news of Catholic higher education.”
As SBU’s 20th president, she has been responsible for major initiatives in academic assessment, new construction and renovations totaling more than $25 million, and the completion of a $95 million capital campaign, the largest in campus history. Currently, the university is raising $15 million to fund a new building for the school of business and faculty development endowments.
Sr. Margaret’s other memberships and professional service include the Presidents’ Council of the Atlantic 10, the chair of the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities, and a faculty member of the Council of Independent Colleges’ Presidential Vocation retreats. Before being inaugurated as St. Bonaventure’s president nearly eight years ago, Sr. Margaret served as the university’s senior vice president for Franciscan charism.
ACCU, founded in 1899, is the collective voice of U.S. Catholic higher education. Through programs and services, the association strengthens and promotes the Catholic identity and mission of its member institutions so that all associated with Catholic higher education can contribute to the greater good of the world and the Church.
— Wendy Healy, a freelance writer, is the author of Life is Too Short: Stories of Transformation and Renewal after 9/11.