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Harry Dumay Named 11th President of Elms College

CHICOPEE — Last week, the Elms College board of trustees announced that Harry Dumay has been named the college’s 11th president.

Dumay, who was chosen after a nationwide search, has served in higher education finance and administration at senior and executive levels for 19 years. He holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Boston College, an MBA from Boston University, and a master’s degree in public administration from Framingham State University.

“Dr. Dumay is a multifaceted leader who understands Elms College and the importance of a liberal-arts education based in the Catholic intellectual tradition. He has a collaborative style and a demonstrated record of strengthening organizational and academic effectiveness, and he is enthusiastic about the future of Elms College,” said Cynthia Lyons, chair of the board of trustees. “At the very heart of his vision for our students, faculty, and the whole college community is excellence for all. He strongly believes education is the best tool to lift people out of poverty, to encourage positive discourse, and to create pathways to successful employment, while also supporting opportunities for strengthening ethical and spiritual development. This vision fits perfectly with the mission of Elms College.”

Dumay, who hails from Ouanaminthe, Haiti, is currently the senior vice president and chief financial officer at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. He formerly served as chief financial officer and associate dean at Harvard University’s Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, associate dean at Boston College’s Graduate School of Social Work, and director of finance for Boston University’s School of Engineering. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Boston College for nine years.

“Elms College is committed to serve a diverse group of women and men and to combine an excellent liberal-arts education with strong professional preparation. That resonated strongly with my belief in education that prepares individuals holistically for leadership, service, and citizenship,” Dumay said. “My campus visit reinforced my sense that Elms College is a special community in which the Sisters of St. Joseph’s spirit of Catholic solidarity pervades the campus. The students whom I met were all quite impressive, fully engaged with their campus community, and ready to contribute to the world. The faculty and staff are welcoming and enthusiastically dedicated to the teaching and learning that happens in and out of the classroom. The board is engaged and extremely supportive. I am honored and excited to lead Elms College as, together, we write the next chapter in the institution’s history.”

Sr. Maxyne Schneider, president of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph and a member of the presidential search committee and board of trustee, noted that, “since its founding by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1928, the College of Our Lady of the Elms has served those for whom Catholic higher education would be essential to a life rich in faith, learning, and economic opportunity. Dr. Dumay brings the professional and lived personal experience to continue this mission. We sense in him a spirit truly compatible with the charisma of our sisters, and will support him in his leadership with our prayer and good will.”

Elms College’s most important goal is the success of its students, Lyons said. “The value of a liberal arts education, combined with career skills and a strong sense of the Elms values of faith, justice, community, and mission, is a defining strategy for our students now and in the future,” she added. “We look forward to Dr. Dumay’s leadership as we continue to strengthen the Elms experience for all.”

Dumay’s appointment is effective July 1, 2017, and his inauguration will be held in the fall. He succeeds Mary Reap, IHM, Ph.D., who will retire after serving as Elms president for the past eight years. Lyons indicated that, during the rest of the academic year, the campus will celebrate the contributions of Reap and her lasting legacy at Elms.

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