Past Presidents Gallery
President Mary K. Grant
President Mary K. Grant, the 11th president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, was the first alumna to serve as its president.
Additionally, President Grant, advanced the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) agenda in Berkshire County and statewide, spearheading efforts leading to MCLA successfully securing $54 million to fund the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, and toward the renovation of Bowman Hall.
President Grant also established a regional strategy, The Berkshire Compact, to improve access and raise educational aspirations for the region.
President Emerita Grant now serves as Chancellor at the University of North Carolina-Asheville.
President Thomas D. Aceto
During his tenure, President Aceto expanded the College in many ways. Among the many initiatives, the College developed and implemented a strategic plan, initiated and revamped academic programs, created a multimedia laboratory and classroom, and introduced the First Year Seminar program.
Under his administration, Governor Paul Celluci signed legislation renaming the College from North Adams State College to Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. The name change was intended to create the state's third special purpose college, offering residents and others a high-quality public alternative to private liberal arts colleges.
President Catherine A. Tisinger
Under her administration, North Adams State College formed a consortium with Williams College for the purpose of mutually beneficially collaborations. President Tisinger also established a degree of cooperation between the College, Berkshire Community College, and Greenfield Community College.
Among her honors, President Tisinger was recognized by the College of Wooster Alumni Association as a respected leader in American Education - the highest honor bestowed upon a Wooster alumna by fellow alumni.
President William P. Haas
President Haas was well regarded as an active and engaged member of the community and champion for public higher education in the Commonwealth. He was often quoted as being strongly in favor of strengthening the admissions standards for the Massachusetts State Colleges and Universities.
President James T. Amsler
The physical plant was enlarged with the addition of the Campus Center, Berkshire Towers, the Townhouses, and the Center for Resourceful Living and outdoor complex. Renovations were also done at Smith House, Murdock Hall, Mark Hopkins, and Venable Theatre.
Under President Amsler, new degree programs in Business Administration and Medical Technology were added, and the North Adams State College Foundation was formed as an instrument of development in the private sector.
President Andrew S. Flagg
As interim president, he initiated changes in curriculum, leading the institution towards a liberal arts college in accordance with the policies of the State College Board of Trustees.
During the first year and a half of President Flagg's interim and permanent presidency, Hoosac Hall dormitory was completed; under construction were the power plant and the Bowman-Eldridge Freel complex. The Mark Hopkins Training School was acquired by the state from the city of North Adams and became part of the College campus.
President Eugene F. Freel
Under President Freel's administration, the College expanded in many ways. In 1960, the Teachers College became a full-fledged State College. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees were offered in nine majors including one in medical technology - the first course of its kind in the state. A science building (Venable) had been named, Hoosac Hall was under construction, and money had been appropriated for a boiler plant plus the three building complex, now known as Bowman, Eldridge, and the Freel Library, of which was later named for the president.
President Grover C. Bowman
Under his administration, North Adams State Teachers College became one of the few teachers colleges to be accredited by the New England School and College Association.
On June 19, 1955, Bowman received an honorary degree from Williams, one of the few northern Berkshire men outside the Williams community to be conferred with such a degree.
President Albert G. Eldridge
President Eldridge was a champion of higher, even as the nation underwent challenging times.
Prior to his role as president of North Adams Normal School, Eldridge was a faculty member.
Under his administration, Eldridge guided the school through its transition from a Normal School, offering two and three year courses to a four-year degree granting college.
During his presidency, the nation was in the midst the Great Depression. President Eldridge worked to ensure ways to allow students to remain in school during this time.
The present administration building is named for President Eldridge.
Principal Leon Smith
Under his tenure, Principal Smith provided a more comprehensive training, inaugurated summer sessions, strengthened courses and ushered the school toward being a degree-granting institution, which it became in 1932 as the North Adams State Teachers College.
Smith House was first named for the president in 1967, and later rededicated on June 8, 1985 during the annual meeting of the Alumni Association.
Principal Frank F. Murdock
Principal Murdock served as the first principal of the
the North Adams Normal School from 1896 to 1921. A role
he held for 25 years.
The North Adams Normal School was one of four created
by the Massachusetts state legislature in 1894. North Adams
was selected due its rapid growth, and the need to train
public school teachers.
Principal Murdock was regarded as an ardent leader in the
development of public education in Massachusetts. Under
Murdock's leadership, the North Adams Normal School became
very selective, making it an honor to be admitted.
Murdock Hall is named after Principal Murdock.