April 3, 2012
Elizabeth Dinndorf, chair of the Board of Trustees of the College of Saint Benedict (CSB), has been named the 18th president of Columbia College in Columbia, S.C. She will begin her presidency in July, succeeding Caroline Whitson, who will retire at the end of June.
Dinndorf, a resident of St. Paul, Minn, is the second non-monastic CSB graduate to be named president of a college. "For me, this is the culmination of my career leading businesses, combined with my passion for higher education, and in particular women's liberal arts education," said Dinndorf in a statement released by Columbia College.
"I'm thrilled for Beth and for Columbia College," said MaryAnn Baenninger, CSB president. "She has been an extraordinary board chair and I have every confidence that she will be an outstanding president. We are very proud of her and wish her the very best."
Dinndorf earned her bachelor of arts degree in mathematics from CSB in 1973. She earned her juris doctorate from the William Mitchell College of Law (St. Paul, Minn) in 1982. Dinndorf has served on the CSB Board of Trustees since 2005, and prior to that from 1988-97. In addition to her role as board chair, she also has chaired the finance and investment committees of the board and served on numerous other board committees. In 1993, she received the college's Decade Award, an award that honors alumnae for outstanding achievements in their profession and community involvement.
Dinndorf's professional experience includes serving in executive roles with U.S. Bank in St. Paul, Minn. and Wells Fargo Bank in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Columbia College is a liberal arts college for women that enrolls more than 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Founded in 1854 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church, it is among the oldest women's colleges in the United States.