Sister Carol Jean Vale, Ph.D., who has led Chestnut Hill College as its president for nearly 25 years, will remain at the helm for another five-year term, having been reappointed as President by the Board of Directors on December 12.
At its quarterly meeting, the Board voted to appoint Sister Carol to a sixth and final term of a maximum of five years, effective July 1. A review of Sister Carol's achievements during her current term, from 2011 to 2016 and of her vision for the next five years, cited her strengths and the challenges she may face during her next term in addition to her accomplishments.
“I am extremely grateful for Sister Carol's leadership and commitment to Chestnut Hill College and the Mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph,” says Margaret Carney McCaffery ’77, chair of the board. “During these challenging times in higher education, the Board of Directors affirmed Sister Carol as the right choice for the presidency due to her experience and dedication. We are indebted to her for her inspiration and vision."
The Board recognized Sister Carol's commitment to the Mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph and to the Mission of the College; this commitment is the inspiration for and the focus of her untiring efforts on the College's behalf.
An article on Philly.com stated that Sister Carol is the longest-serving college president in the Philadelphia region. During a challenging time for higher education, when many small liberal arts colleges are competing fiercely for their share of the shrinking pool of graduating high school seniors, Sister Carol has kept CHC on a steady course,
During her tenure, CHC went coed in 2003, doubling enrollment. In 2006, the purchase and renovation of SugarLoaf nearly doubled the size of the campus and opened it to increased opportunities for outside events. Sprint football was added to the Athletics roster several years after the College went from a Division III to a Division II school in 2007, bringing in additional student-athletes. The first doctoral program and several majors have been added during her term in office, and Sister Carol also has increased the numbers of international students in her quest to make the College truly global in scope.
McCaffery Lounge, the Gulati Complex, Martino Hall, the Fitness Center, Fitzsimmons Hall and numerous additional renovations throughout the campus were all completed since Sister Carol first became president in 1992. The creation of the School of Continuing & Professional Studies, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary, also came about with her guidance.
"It has been an honor and privilege to serve the College over nearly 24 years," says Sister Carol. "I look forward to my next term with the same enthusiasm and hope that have characterized the past two-and-a-half decades."
A statement from the Board of Directors also affirmed the generous support, investment and leadership of the College's administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni, benefactors and the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in enabling the accomplishments of Sister Carol Jean Vale.
— Brenda Lange