September 15, 2023
Ursuline College President Sister Christine De Vinne, PhD, OSU, announced during yesterday’s Board of Trustees meeting that this will be her final year at the College’s helm.
“It’s been an honor to serve Ursuline College -- my beloved alma mater-- as President,” stated De Vinne, better known on campus as Sister Chris, now in her ninth year. “I will celebrate my 50th college reunion here with the Class of 1973 next month. The timing is right for me to relinquish my keys to a new president, ready to lead our incredible faculty and staff and build on the momentum of their accomplishments.”
The 73-year-old member of the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland continued, “Our undergraduate enrollment has rebounded to pre-pandemic growth levels. We’ve created new in-demand graduate degrees to meet the area’s workforce needs, including a physician assistant program, a nurse anesthetist program in our Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, and a re-imagined MBA for online learners. Our graduates go on to serve Northeast Ohio as the region’s most dedicated nurses, entrepreneurs, educators, artists, and scientists.”
De Vinne was appointed president in July 2015, after 14 years as faculty member, then dean, at Ursuline and five years as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Notre Dame of Maryland University. During her tenure, the College increased undergraduate student retention, launched a Student Success Center, renovated the Dauby Science Center, and opened the Besse Library Learning Commons. It was named the #1 college in the nation for student upward social mobility in a study by the American Enterprise Institute. The National League of Nursing (NLN) named Ursuline College a Center of Excellence for Nursing education. The College also initiated an Anisfield-Wolf Faculty Fellowship in partnership with the Cleveland Foundation and launched an annual Juneteenth Celebration in collaboration with the city of Pepper Pike.
“Sr. Christine has driven the College forward under two strategic plans, undeterred even by a global pandemic,” said John “Jack” M. Newman, Jr., Chair of the College’s Board of Trustees. “Under her leadership, the College has carried out its mission in new and transformative ways. She has left an indelible mark on this campus.”
He added, “I am grateful that we have had the opportunity to serve Ursuline College together and appreciate that she has created a dynamic launching pad for her successor.”
As the college seeks to identify a new president, a search committee will be led by Board Vice Chair Teri Corletzi, ’90. “A little over a year ago, we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the founding of Ursuline College,” said Corletzi. “Sister Chris has positioned Ursuline and its new president to be ready for our next century of service to Northeast Ohio.”
Founded in 1871, Ursuline College today serves a diverse population from across Northeast Ohio and beyond, many of its students the first in their families to seek a degree. “The College is proud of its role in Catholic higher education and grateful to the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland for their sponsorship and support,” said Sr. Chris. “The commitment of the College’s leadership and the whole campus community will ensure that our 18th president begins a new era from a strength rooted in pride and history.”
Sister Chris will retire, effective June 30, 2024. After a much-deserved break, she looks forward to finding fresh ways to continue her ministry as an Ursuline Sister.