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President Burns Leads the Mount Into the Future

10/18/2021

Officially Official: Dr. Susan R. Burns Is the Sixth President of the College of Mount Saint Vincent

Congratulations, Susan R. Burns, Ph.D.!

Dr. Burns was formally installed as Mount Saint Vincent’s sixth president during her inauguration ceremony on Sunday, October 17.

Watch the Installation Mass and Inauguration | View the Photos

Family, friends, colleagues, students, faculty, trustees, dignitaries, and delegates filled the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception to support President Burns in her new leadership role. The day was nothing short of spectacular.

Following an academic and liturgical procession, the space filled with warmth, emotion, and excitement from each and every attendee. Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, President of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, led the Mass, and Dr. Burns’ three exceptionally talented children—Isabella, Abigail, and Noah—gifted the College with their musical prowess.

Dr, Susan R. Burns at her inauguration ceremony.

After the induction by Steven M. Hayes, Chair of the Board of Trustees and Donna Dodge, S.C., President of the Sisters of Charity of New York and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Burns officially received the presidential medallion—evoking her role as a steward of an enduring mission—and accepted the Office of the President.

In a moving address, President Burns took a moment to thank some of the important and influential contributors in her life and at the College.

To the Sisters of Charity, without whose early and significant commitment to education, Mount Saint Vincent would not be here today. To the College’s Board of Trustees, who generously give their time, talent, and treasure in support of our students and community. And to Mount students, who continually inspire Dr. Burns through their desire to make the most of their experience at the Mount; faculty, who are committed to authentically and inclusively walking with students on their learning journey; and staff and administrators, who work tirelessly and collaboratively to ensure that students and colleagues are supported in the work they do.

Dr. Burns also reflected on her own experience as a first-generation college student, thanking the teachers and mentors who pushed her to pursue her dreams and understand the value of letting those dreams evolve. From Emporia State University, to Morningside University, and, of course, her former institution, Clarke University, she recognized the many students and colleagues she had the honor to serve, thanking those who have inspired her to be a better teacher, researcher, advisor, mentor, and administrator.

For her last expression of appreciation, Dr. Burns shared a moment with her family. With her parents, who joined in the celebration from home, who have instilled in her sisters and her a commitment to faith, values, and to the service of others. With her children, who motivate her to be a better version of herself by watching the ways in which they live and love genuinely, without hesitation. And with her husband, Dan—the College’s first, first gentleman—who has always been willing to not only allow her to follow her dreams, but who is willing to traverse those dreams together.

Dr. Susan R. Burns with Trustees

After expressing her heartfelt gratitude, President Burns looked ahead at the Right Place on the River, invigorating the entire Mount community to our current success and the success of our future.

“If you are to do His work, the strength will be given you,” Dr. Burns shared, remembering the words of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. “I am honored to serve in leadership and partnership to do His work together…in support and service of our students, our Mission, and our values. Thank you.”

Thank you, President 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.