Office of the President
Mary Dana Hinton, Ph.D., President, College of Saint Benedict
Dr. Mary Dana Hinton became the fifteenth president of the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., on July 1, 2014.
The College of Saint Benedict is a national liberal arts college for women, and one of only three Catholic colleges ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top 100 liberal arts institution. The college has a unique partnership with nearby Saint John's University for men that expands the resources of both institutions, offering more than 60 areas of study and the distinct benefits of two nationally respected Catholic, undergraduate colleges.
The college has achieved national recognition for its strength in international education, with 20 semester-long study abroad sites on six continents, and for the Marie and Robert Jackson Fellows program, offering fellowship support to students in competitive public-service internships. The College of Saint Benedict received the 2012 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization for excellence in internationalization efforts as evidenced in practices, structures, philosophies, and policies. The College of Saint Benedict has also been recognized as a "Best Value" college by Fiske, Barron's, and Kiplinger's.
College of Saint Benedict students achieve excellent outcomes. Four-year completion rates at CSB significantly exceed averages for private and public colleges regionally and nationally. Fully 99 percent of 2012 graduates reported they were situated within a year of earning their degree, either professionally employed, pursuing a graduate degree or in a full-time volunteer position. More than 90 percent of alumnae described themselves as prepared for life after CSB (including first job, graduate school, and career advancement), and more than 90 percent say they would choose CSB again if they could start college over.
President Hinton has extensive experience in Catholic higher education, national experience with non-profit K-12 education management and school development, and a philanthropic background in the corporate sector. She earned a Ph.D. in religion and religious education with high honors from Fordham University, a Master of Arts degree in clinical child psychology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Williams College.
Prior to coming to CSB, Hinton served as the vice president for academic affairs at Mount Saint Mary College, a Dominican college in Newburgh, NY. In this role, she provided senior administrative leadership for academic affairs, enrollment management, planning, assessment and institutional research and student affairs, among other areas. Her passion for student retention led to the development of the Center for Student Success, a model program that provides comprehensive academic support services to improve student retention and persistence.
Hinton is the author of "The Commercial Church: Black Churches and the New Religious Marketplace in America." Her scholarship focuses on African American religious history, religious education, and leadership, strategic planning, assessment, and diversity in the academy. Hinton has served on several national higher education boards including the Association of General and Liberal Studies, the Religious Education Association, and the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Academy of Religion.
Hinton's enthusiasm for leading CSB stems from her personal experience with women's residential education at St. Mary's high school in Raleigh, NC and her liberal arts education as an undergraduate student at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. This, along with her professional experience on Catholic college campuses, has fueled her interest in integrating a spiritual perspective with a vibrant liberal arts education: the essence of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
Hinton, her husband, Robert Williams, and their children, Hallela, Hillel and Hosanna, make their home at the Renner House, the college's presidential residence in St. Joseph, Minn.