By Catholic Review Staff
Notre Dame of Maryland University’s board of trustees announced Aug. 9 they have appointed Dr. Joan Develin Coley, president emerita of McDaniel College in Westminster, as interim president of the Baltimore institution.
The announcement comes as Dr. James F. Conneely, the university’s president since July 2012, announced his resignation citing family reasons, according to Notre Dame. He was the first male president in the school’s history.
During her presidency at McDaniel, Dr. Coley successfully transitioned what was then known as Western Maryland College through a comprehensive name change and repositioning and led the most successful fundraising campaign in the College’s history, exceeding the goal and raising $77 million. The Philadelphia natve was instrumental in the college’s adoption of an undergraduate curriculum with greater emphasis on global, interdisciplinary and multicultural studies, and oversaw $45 million in campus improvements for academic facilities, student residential life and recreation
A search committee will select Notre Dame of Maryland University’s next permanent president, according to the Notre Dame. The honorable Kathleen O’Ferrall Friedman, class of ’62, former chairwoman of the board of trustees and a retired judge of the Baltimore City Circuit Court, will serve as chairwoman of the search committee.
Below is the text of Dr. Conneely’s letter to the Notre Dame community:
To the Notre Dame of Maryland Community,
I am writing to let you know that for family reasons, I have submitted my resignation as President to the Board of Trustees of Notre Dame of Maryland University, effective August 12, 2013.
I have made this difficult career decision in the best interests of my family. As I contemplated this decision, I sought inspiration from the words of Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger, founder of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, our sponsoring congregation, who counsels us to “trust and dare.”
Those words have had special meaning for me during my presidency, and they guided me in making a decision that, I am confident, is right for my family, and right for Notre Dame.
As the first male President of Notre Dame, I am keenly aware that generations of our graduates have had to make similarly hard choices in balancing their careers and their family lives. I salute them for their courage, and I thank them for their example.
I have loved my time at Notre Dame, and I treasure the wonderful and inspiring people I have been privileged to work with and come to know. Please keep my family in your prayers, just as you will always be in mine.
James F. Conneely, Ph.D.
Notre Dame of Maryland University