By Allyson Noenickx, Chief News Editor
On April 25, Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president announced that following a national search, Michele C. Murray has been named the new vice president for student affairs and dean of students at the College. She will succeed Dean Jacqueline D. Peterson who will be retiring in July after 20 years of service.
“We are delighted that Michele will join our executive team at Holy Cross in this important role,” said Fr. Boroughs. “She has served Jesuit higher education for 21 years, and brings deep experience in leading a diverse and dedicated team within the increasingly complex landscape of higher education. We look forward to her leadership in working with our students and their families as well as with our faculty and staff to further our Holy Cross mission of developing our students intellectually, socially, and spiritually.”
Murray has served in Jesuit higher education for the last 21 years. Since 2006, she has served as vice president of the Division of Student Development at the Jesuit-sponsored Seattle University. In Seattle, Murray served as a member of the faculty, where she taught undergraduate and graduate classes in leadership and student development. Before moving to Seattle, Murray worked as director of leadership and new student programs at Loyola College in Maryland from 1998 to 2006 and as assistant director of student activities from 1996 to 1998. Murray also received a Ph.D. in education policy and leadership in higher education from the University of Maryland.
Prior to starting a career in Jesuit education, she held roles in residential life and multicultural affairs at the University of Vermont and served as director of external affairs for the Oakcrest School for Girls in Washington, D.C. She has served on the executive boards of the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators (JASPA) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Center for Women. In addition to her doctorate, Murray holds a B.A. in rhetoric and communication studies and psychology from the University of Virginia and a M.Ed. in higher education and student affairs administration from the University of Vermont.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Holy Cross community,” said Murray. “From my first interaction with the search committee and throughout my campus visit, the pride that students, faculty, and staff feel for the College was evident. I have long admired Holy Cross, its commitment to excellence, and its dedication to holistic student development, and I can’t imagine a better place to continue serving Jesuit higher education.”
Murray’s selection comes after a lengthy national search. Throughout the process Rev. William R. Campbell, S.J. headed the VPSA/DOS search committee commissioned by Fr. Boroughs last September. Together the committee and the nationally known search firm Isaacson, Miller recommended four finalists to Fr. Boroughs in March. Each candidate was welcomed to campus and attended an Open Session where members of the campus community had an opportunity to meet the candidates and provide feedback to Fr. Boroughs.
Murray replaces Dean Peterson, who was the first woman and African American Vice President at Holy Cross.
“Jackie established the Division of Student Affairs as a critical component of our commitment to educate the whole student,” said Fr. Boroughs. “Under her leadership, the Division of Student Affairs received national recognition from ‘Diverse: Issues in Higher Education’ as one of the most promising places to work in student affairs.”
Murray will assume her duties on July 17, serving as a member of the College’s senior executive team and reporting directly to Fr. Boroughs.