MaryAnn Baenninger to Continue as College of Saint Benedict President

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January 15, 2010

MaryAnn Baenninger has agreed to a new five-year contract as president of College of Saint Benedict. The term of the contract extends through June 30, 2015. 

"This is terrific news for the College of Saint Benedict. MaryAnn's continued leadership will ensure that the college maintains its momentum on all fronts, especially in offering exceptional liberal arts and sciences opportunities to students. Our entire board is very pleased that MaryAnn agreed to stay on as president of the college," said Kathy Cooney, chair of the CSB Board of Trustees. "MaryAnn has been a tremendous leader and has positioned the college regionally and nationally. We are grateful for her energy and dedication to CSB. We will now continue seamless progress towards our strategic goals." 

In September, MaryAnn announced that she was considering other positions in the eastern region of the United States for personal reasons. In October, CSB began a search for a new president.  The board recently asked her to reconsider her decision to leave the college at the close of the academic year. 

"Earlier this fall, because of the uncertainty surrounding my husband's health, we felt it best to return to the East Coast where most of our family resides," MaryAnn said. "After surgery for a serious condition, Ron has been given a clean bill of health. We are thrilled and I am grateful to have the opportunity to lead this wonderful college for the next five years." 

The new contract will ensure that MaryAnn will serve as president through the college's next strategic plan, the centennial in 2013, the next capital campaign and two transformative building projects: a new academic building and a new athletic/fitness center. 

"MaryAnn is a superb president and her leadership team is genuinely thrilled that she will continue working with us for the next five years," said Rita Knuesel, provost at CSB and Saint John's University (SJU). 

During MaryAnn's six-year tenure as president, the college:


  • Successfully completed an $82.7 million capital campaign, the largest in its history;
  • Significantly raised the national reputation of its stellar academic and undergraduate experience;
  • Implemented a dynamic strategic plan;
  • Completed a major expansion of the Benedicta Arts Center, built a state-of-the art dining and conference center, and developed a bold campus master plan to support education for future generations of students;
  • Completed a successful accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools;
  • Was granted a Phi Beta Kappa chapter with SJU, a significant achievement recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences;
  • Was cited by its peers nationally as one of 13 "up and coming" liberal arts colleges in the country, and CSB and SJU were among only 27 cited as best teaching institutions in the liberal arts colleges' category. 

MaryAnn began serving as CSB's 14th president on Aug. 1, 2004.