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 of Saint Benedict provides a liberal arts education preparing women to think critically, lead courageously and advocate passionately.
The college has achieved national recognition for its strength in international education, with 19 semester-long study abroad sites on six continents, its operating efficiency, and its commitment to community service and solving community challenges. The College of Saint Benedict received the Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization for excellence in internationalization efforts as evidenced in practices, structures, philosophies, and policies. Cited as an "Up-and-Coming" liberal arts institution by U.S. News and World Report, 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 2014 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. CSB has been recently recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars and Peace Corps volunteers. Alumna Rachel Mullin '14 was one of 32 Americans who received a 2016 Rhodes Scholarship, widely considered to be the world's most prestigious academic award.
In her first year as the president of CSB, Dr. Hinton led the development of a strategic plan and vision to guide the College of Saint Benedict through 2020. She personally met with over 1,000 faculty, staff, students, alumnae, donors, and friends of the College of Saint Benedict to develop a shared vision. Dr. Hinton continues to work to expand access to liberal arts education, embed the Benedictine heritage into institutional practice and to raise the national profile of CSB. Under her leadership, CSB is undergoing a $43 million campus facilities update, enabling Saint Ben's to provide premier facilities for learning and leadership development while leveraging the historic district of the campus in ways that honor the legacy and heritage of our founding order.
Dr. Hinton's enthusiasm for leading CSB stems from her personal experience with women's residential education at St. Mary's School in Raleigh, NC and her liberal arts education as an undergraduate student. This, along with her professional experience on Catholic college campuses, fuels her interest in integrating a spiritual perspective with a vibrant liberal arts education: the essence of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
Dr. Hinton 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 the College of Saint Benedict, Dr. 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.
Dr. 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. Since 2012, Dr. Hinton has taught in the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education doctoral program in higher education management.
Dr. 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.
Dr. Hinton’s Current Professional Service:
- Minnesota Private College Council Board of Presidents (Chair)
- Women's College Coalition Board of Directors
- Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation Board of Directions
- Minnesota Campus Compact Board Directors
- The Aspen Institute/Association of American Colleges and Universities Wye Seminars Advisory Council
- Central Minnesota Community Foundation Board of Directors
- The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation President's Advisory Council
- Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities Board of Directors
- University Leadership Consortium Board, United Arab Emirates
- The Council of Independent Colleges, Board of Directors
- Association of American Colleges and Universities Board of Directors
- Lumina Foundation’s Quality Credentials Task Force, Member
- Committee on Catholic Education’s Higher Education Working Group, Consultant