Mount Mary University names new president

Administrator from College of St. Mary in Omaha will take over in July

Christine Pharr.

Mount Mary University has selected a new president to replace current president Eileen Schwalbach.

Christine Pharr, vice president for alumnae and donor relations at the College of St. Mary, a Catholic women’s college located in Omaha, Nebraska, will take office in July 2017.

Christine Pharr.
Christine Pharr

Schwalbach, who held various roles at Mount Mary for the past 23 years, announced in April she would step down at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year. Schwalbach has been president of Mount Mary since 2008.

Over the last year, Pharr helped raise millions of dollars for the College of St. Mary. Prior to her current role, she served as vice president for academic affairs at the college, where she developed undergraduate and graduate programs in business, science, nursing and education as well as a physician assistant program. She previously worked as academic dean and professor of chemistry at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho.

“Dr. Pharr is an educator with a strong connection to the mission of Mount Mary University and the charism of the School Sisters of Notre Dame,” said Marie O’Brien, chair of the Mount Mary Board of Trustees. “Her leadership experience in both academic affairs and alumnae and donor relations, coupled with her ability to articulate a bold yet achievable future, provide Mount Mary with the unique skill set necessary to lead the institution into our next phase of excellence.”

Pharr earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Mount Mary College in Yankton, South Dakota, a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of South Dakota and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Idaho.

“I’m truly honored that Mount Mary University and the School Sisters of Notre Dame have put their trust in my ability to lead Mount Mary into the future,” Pharr said. “I have a true passion for education and particularly believe that educating women is a great calling that Mount Mary University does very well. It is clear that the charism of the School Sisters resonates throughout the campus, and I was greatly impressed with the quality of the faculty, staff, alumnae, board members and students that I met. I look forward to meeting the entire Mount Mary community in the coming months.”

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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