September 18, 2015

Anna Maria College inaugurates 11th president

Mary Lou Retelle has been named president at Anna Maria College.

Mary Lou Retelle will be inaugurated Anna Maria College's president Friday afternoon at the school in Paxton.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito will be among area civic and academic leaders expected to attend the 3 p.m. ceremony on the lawn.

Anna Maria trustees selected Retelle as president in June. She has served as the interim president since last summer, after former president Jack P. Calareso left to become president of St. Joseph's College in Patchogue, N.Y.

Retelle, of Worcester, is the first woman to serve as Anna Maria's leader in more than 20 years, and is the first laywoman to lead the Catholic liberal arts college since its founding in 1946. She was chosen from more than 70 applicants, the school said in announcing the decision.

"In a short time, Mary Lou Retelle has demonstrated a clear vision to lead Anna Maria College forward and help students achieve. Through her strong leadership, Anna Maria College is making important strides in student enrollment, program growth, and campus relations," Paul A. DiPierro, chairman of the board of trustees, said in a statement.

Retelle brings to the presidency 25 years of experience as an executive administrator at academic institutions. She joined Anna Maria as executive vice president in 2011, overseeing enrollment, student life and athletic programs. As interim president, she led initiatives to enhance student satisfaction, increase enrollment, and improve financial aid disbursement, the school said in a statement.

Retelle previously held administrative positions at Merrimack College in North Andover and the State University of New York in Potsdam. Born and raised in Lawrence, she earned her bachelor's degree from Merrimack College and her Master of Education in Student Personnel Services from Northeastern University.

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