Laurie M. Hamen, J.D., Named Interim President at the College of Saint Benedict

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May 27, 2020

Laurie M. Hamen

Laurie M. Hamen, J.D.

Laurie M. Hamen, J.D., will become the Interim President of the College of Saint Benedict on July 1, 2020. Hamen recently served as the ninth president at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, since February 2014.

Hamen is a higher education veteran, with more than 30 years of experience in student affairs, enrollment management, academics, athletics, and grant procurement. She returns to the College of Saint Benedict community, having served as the Dean of Students at the college from 1992 to 1996. She and her husband Bill Hamen will make their home at Renner House on the College of Saint Benedict campus. The couple has three adult children: Drew Slagle (SJU ’06) and his wife Anna Burke Slagle (CSB ’07), James Slagle (SJU ’09) and wife Ann Monson Slagle (CSB Employee 2012-14) and daughter Madeline Slagle Nissen and husband Tyler Nissen, and eight grandchildren.

“I am extremely enthusiastic to return to the College of Saint Benedict as interim president; a place with a mission and people that has been pivotal in my career and in the lives of my CSB alumnae family members. Saint Ben’s transforms the lives of women through its unique focus on women’s leadership in a Benedictine, residential, liberal arts context. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the college at this important time in history, and I look forward to strengthening the relationship with Saint John’s University.”

“We are thrilled to have Laurie’s breadth of experience and her personal and professional connection to the College of Saint Benedict in this vital interim leadership role,” says Barb Brandes, chair of the College of Saint Benedict Board of Trustees. “She is the ideal leader to advance the mission of Saint Ben’s and to work alongside the board, students, faculty, staff, alums and donors to ensure our community thrives.”

As the president of Mount Mercy University, a Catholic university founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Hamen oversaw the following initiatives:

  • A strategic vision for the institution, guiding 1,800 undergraduate, graduate and online students and nearly 300 employees;
  • Creating an environment of support for new ideas, along with significant change to enrollment operation and in conjunction with the faculty and provost, leading to substantial growth in online, face-to-face, low residency and hybrid majors and programs on both the undergraduate and graduate level;
  • Exceeding the goals of the University’s $35 million-dollar Unity Campaign in 2017, for the University Center, Graduate Center and the academic, financial aid, student life and Mercy programs of the University;
  • Developing mission-based programs including the Catherine McAuley Program (a free tuition program for low income students), Project Connect (a transition and leadership program for students of color), and JumpStart (an athletics program that inspires academic achievement in community children).

Prior to joining Mount Mercy University, Hamen was vice president for enrollment management, athletics and student affairs at North Central College in Naperville, IL. for nearly 18 years. She played an active role in the New American Colleges and Universities Consortium, taught classes in North Central graduate programs and served on NCAA Division III and athletic conference committees.

President Hamen is involved in many community boards and commissions including Orchestra Iowa, Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center and Rotary Club of Cedar Rapids. She also serves on the Cedar Rapids City Manager’s Business Advisory Council.

Hamen holds a Juris Doctorate from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, IL. She completed Ph.D. coursework in educational administration at the University of Minnesota and holds a master’s degree from Winona State University. She is a product of a women’s college education, having earned her undergraduate degree from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn.

“We are pleased with the appointment of Interim President Hamen and look forward to her partnership with Saint John’s Interim President Eugene McAllister,” says Terry Dolan, CSB Trustee and chair of the interim search committee. “We are confident in the leadership of the interim presidents to provide a strategic vision that will shape the future of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.”