Notable Women in Education: Christine Pharr

President / Mount Mary University

  • Category: Notable Women in Education
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 26
  • Undergrad degree/university: Mount Marty University – Bachelors or Science degree with majors in chemistry and biology
  • Graduate degree/university: Masters or Science Degree at the University of South Dakota – Analytical Chemistry; Ph.D. at University of Idaho – Analytical Chemistry

Since the moment Mount Mary University president Dr. Christine Pharr arrived on campus in 2018, she has been a force for change and an outspoken community advocate for transformative education for women, particularly those underserved in our community, according to colleagues.

Under Pharr’s leadership, Mount Mary ranked first in Wisconsin in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of top-performing schools for social mobility in 2020.

Mount Mary’s diverse student population (42% of the members of its student body identify as a person of color) has been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Pharr’s President’s Emergency Fund has awarded more than $60,000 to 46 students to offset the challenges in this time of unprecedented struggle, according to Kathy Van Zeeland, Mount Mary’s director of marketing and communications.

She is also leading the development of the $20 million Trinity Woods intergenerational housing community, opening on campus this fall. It brings together the aging population of School Sisters of Notre Dame, senior citizens from the community and family housing for single undergraduate mothers and their children. 

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