Mary K. Grant, Ph.D., was the 11th president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and also the first alumna of the College to serve as its president. President Emerita Grant now serves as Chancellor at University of North Carolina-Asheville.
About Dr. Grant
Under Dr. Grant's leadership, MCLA has expanded academic programming and facilities; recruited an array of outstanding new faculty; provided students with new study away, internship, research, and service opportunities; overseen growth in enrollment, strengthened the connections between the College and the community; launched the College's first comprehensive Capital Campaign; and become part of the Massachusetts State University System.
In response to these initiatives, MCLA has been designated a Top Ten Public Liberal Arts College for the last four years. Dr. Grant has also provided leadership to advance 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, which opened in September 2013, and toward the renovation of Bowman Hall.
Dr. Grant is a passionate advocate for public higher education, civic engagement, and community service. For her longstanding efforts and contributions, Dr. Grant received the 2014 MCLA Distinguished Alumnus Award, and received the 2014 New England Board of Higher Education's (NEBHE) Massachusetts State Merit Award. She is the recipient of the 2011 American Council on Education Massachusetts National Network of Women Leaders Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2011 Francis H. Hayden Award from the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce. In 2010, Dr. Grant received the 2010 Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District I Executive Leadership Award in recognition of her success in increasing MCLA's institutional stature in, and service to, the community.
Dr. Grant's board service included Campus Compact, Commonwealth Covenant Fund, MassINC, Norman Rockwell Museum, John Adams Innovation Institute, and University of Massachusetts Boston Board of Visitors, among others. Recognizing the essential role that science and technology play in securing the future of the Commonwealth and the nation, Dr. Grant served on the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Advisory Council. She recently served as Chair of the Council of Presidents of the Massachusetts Statewide University System; Chair of the Board of the Massachusetts Campus Compact; and President of the Board of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), which champions public liberal arts education in the United States and Canada. She also served on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Berkshire Business Roundtable, and the Partnership for North Adams.
She established the Berkshire Compact for Education, a countywide initiative focused on strengthening education in Berkshire County. The Compact serves as a model for regional collaboration, operating under the premise that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, should have the opportunity to aspire to higher education. For her work toward the Compact, Dr. Grant will be honored by the Berkshire United Way in December.
Dr. Grant holds a Ph.D. in social policy from The Heller School at Brandeis University, a Master's degree in public affairs from the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMASS Boston, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. In 2012, Dr. Grant received an honorary degree from Williams College.