Back to News Mount Saint Vincent to Install Susan R. Burns as President

Mount Saint Vincent to Install Susan R. Burns as President


The Right President at the Right Place on the River

Susan R. Burns, Ph.D., will be officially installed as Mount Saint Vincent’s sixth president during an inauguration ceremony on Sunday, October 17.

Students, faculty, dignitaries, and delegates from an array of notable colleges and universities will gather in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception on the Riverdale campus to support President Burns in her new leadership role. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m.

Inauguration Day is a highlight of a week and weekend filled with activities to honor the College’s newest president. The ceremony will begin with Mass in the Chapel, offered by Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, followed by the installation, which will offer a musical procession of works and the presentation of the presidential medallion—passed from one president to the next, evoking their role as stewards of an enduring mission. After the induction and acceptance of office, the alma mater, The White and the Gold, will echo through the space, concluding the ceremony.

Against the vibrant backdrop, the event is sure to radiate across campus.

Susan R. Burns and Vinny the Dolphin

Dedicated to the common good, Vincentian service, and the Catholic intellectual tradition, Dr. Burns is an exceptional academic leader, engaged educator, and celebrated scholar. Her career in higher education has focused on advancing institutional mission, while creating an environment that fosters the education of the whole person. She demonstrates the knowledge and strategic vision necessary to advance and build upon the College’s distinguished accomplishments and reputation.

Dr. Burns arrived at the Right Place on the River from Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, where she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. Prior to this position, Dr. Burns served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Morningside College. At Morningside, she also taught psychology and statistics, holding the rank of full professor with tenure.

Deeply committed to the liberal arts and to its core values—an understanding of our common humanity, a commitment to human dignity, and a full appreciation of our obligations to each other—Mount Saint Vincent is fortunate and honored to have Dr. Burns’ intellect, passion, and experience.

Susan R. Burns with a student.

“At this key moment in the College’s history, Dr. Burns embodies a deep-seated commitment to the liberal arts and its inherent promise to provide access to an authentic, high-quality education to talented students of every background,” said Steven M. Hayes, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “Her dedication to students and to the values inculcated by a Mount education—knowledge, competence, civic responsibility—dovetail beautifully with the College’s mission. In this time of extraordinary cultural, economic, and educational change, we are confident that she will boldly and effectively guide the Mount into its next chapter.”

President Burns began serving in her role January 1, 2021 and has already made an impact on the Right Place on the River.

“I am humbled and honored to be selected as the next president of the College of Mount Saint Vincent and I am delighted to join a community committed to providing transformational student-centered learning opportunities in and beyond the classroom,” said Dr. Burns in accepting the appointment. “The Mount lives its mission and values in a manner that not only welcomes all dreams, but transforms the lives of its students, their families, and generations that follow through its commitment to excellence in the liberal arts tradition and in all academic programs.”

We are thrilled to be led by Dr. Burns with vast energy, compassion, and integrity for years to come.

Dr. Susan R. Burns

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.