Carson Daly
MSMC President Dr. Anne Carson Daly holding the college charter (Photo by Lee Ferris, Mount Saint Mary College)

by William Biersack

On Thur., March 12, students, faculty, officials, and friends of the Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC) community gathered as Dr. Anne Carson Daly was officially installed as the sixth president of the college. Having held the position since July 14, 2014, after former President Fr. Kevin Mackin stepped down from his position, the series of events of last week was the ceremonial acceptance of Dr. Daly into the college community.

Daly graduated from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., with her bachelor’s degree in English, as well as having earned her master’s degree and doctorate in English literature from Johns Hopkins University. Before coming to MSMC, Daly’s career in academia included teaching positions at Johns Hopkins, the University of Notre Dame, and Georgetown University, as well as serving as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Belmont Abbey College in N.C. As well as her career in academics, Daly has also held high-ranking positions in government and business, serving respectively as the second-in-command of the National Advisory Council on Educational Research and Improvement, as well as the Policy Communications Supervisor of pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Inc.

During the installation ceremony, Daly was honored by delegates representing the MSMC community, other colleges and universities, and leaders of the Hudson Valley region. Among them was Dr. James Finn Cotter, long-standing member of the MSMC teaching faculty, who used a shared understanding of English literature and Shakespeare in his address to Daly, comparing her to some of Shakespeare’s more virtuous female characters. Additionally, Daly was presented the MSMC Charter by Albert Gruner, chair of the MSMC Board of Trustees, and the MSMC academic mace by former Presidents Fr. Kevin Mackin and Sr. Ann Sakac.

Taking the stage for her inaugural address, Daly noted MSMC’s continued focus on the liberal arts and the college’s roots in the Dominican tradition, wishing to foster a “love of prayer, love of learning, love of community, and love of service.”

In addition, Daly said, “The liberal arts open the mind and heart, not only freeing the soul from prejudice and ignorance and pettiness, but also helping to free it for justice, and generosity, and wisdom.”

Now officially installed into the college administration, Daly is now further capable of making great change to the college and the MSMC community anxiously awaits what will happen next.

Chairman Gruner reflected on the changes that have already happened on campus, saying, “We could not be more pleased with the outstanding job that Dr. Daly is doing.”