President of College of St. Benedict to step down in June
- October 22, 2013 - 7:52 PM
MaryAnn Baenninger, the president of the College of St. Benedict, will step down in June after 10 years on the job.
Baenninger, 57, announced her plans Tuesday, saying she made the decision for personal reasons.
“This is the right time for a transition for me and for St. Ben’s,” she said, noting that the college is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. “You want to make that transition at a time when things are going well.”
Baenninger said she isn’t ready to retire but has no specific plans other than spending more time with her children and grandchildren, who live near Philadelphia and Chicago.
“One of the luxuries of this situation is that I have time to continue to focus on St. Ben’s and think about that later,” she said.
Baenninger became the 14th president of St. Benedict, a Catholic women’s college in St. Joseph, Minn., in 2004. Her husband, Ron, is a retired psychology professor.
She said her proudest achievements as president include increasing racial diversity at the college, which is paired with the all-male St. John’s University, and more than doubling the school’s endowment to $50 million. Last year, she made headlines by signing a public pledge, with more than two dozen other college leaders, to commit 5 percent of their personal income to fight poverty. “I have seen, up close and personal, real poverty internationally,” she said at the time. “That’s what motivates me.”
© 2013 Star Tribune