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Bay Path President Carol Leary to Receive Donna Shavlik Award

LONGMEADOW — The American Council on Education (ACE) announced that Carol Leary, president of Bay Path University and author of Achieving the Dream: A How-to Guide for Adult Women Seeking a College Degree, will receive the 2019 Donna Shavlik Award.

The award will be presented ACE2019, ACE’s 101st annual meeting in Philadelphia, during the Women’s Leadership Dinner on Saturday, March 9.  

ACE President Ted Mitchell noted that “2018 was a critical year for women in higher education. Carol Leary not only met its challenges head-on with her leadership of Bay Path, but she also widened opportunity for her students and prospective learners.” 

In 1994, Leary became president of Bay Path, a private institution offering all-women undergraduate degree programs (on campus and online) and co-educational graduate-degree programs. Under her leadership, Bay Path became a university, established more than 30 graduate and post-graduate degrees, and launched the American Women’s College, the first all-women, all-online baccalaureate program in the nation. She also established the Carol A. Leary Endowed Scholarship Fund for First Generation College Students.

Although neither graduated high school, Leary’s parents instilled in her the importance of education and a love of learning. With their support and encouragement, she attended Boston University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and later earned a Ph.D. at American University in Washington, D.C. This upbringing contributed to her advocacy for women, particularly those for whom circumstance and environment might hinder success.

ACE established the Donna Shavlik Award to honor the long and outstanding service of Donna Shavlik, former director of ACE’s Office of Women in Higher Education. Presented annually, the award honors an individual who demonstrates a sustained commitment to advancing women in higher education through leadership and career development, campus climate, and mentoring.

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