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President Burns: the Best in the Bronx and Beyond


City & State New York Names Mount President Susan R. Burns to Not One, but Two Trailblazer Lists

Now over halfway through her fourth year as President of the University of Mount Saint Vincent, it’s no secret that Dr. Susan R. Burns has left an indelible mark on not only the Mount community, but our local communities of the Bronx, higher education, New York State, and beyond.

A humble Midwesterner who came to the big city in pursuit of a call to make transformational higher education affordable and attainable for all students—regardless of their family and financial means—Dr. Burns jumped headfirst into her presidency at the Mount. In what is, no doubt, one of (if not, the) most tumultuous and uncertain periods of time in the higher education sphere, Dr. Burns has continued to lead the Mount with grace, confidence, and passion—clearly propelling our beloved institution into a stable and blossoming future.

It’s often speculated that Dr. Burns must have a clone (or two) because she truly is everywhere all at once. In a single day, she might go from a meeting in her office with a prospective donor, to a student club event on the Quad, to a lunch meeting across the Bronx with a community partner, back to campus for a soccer game on Marillac Field, to a Zoom meeting with fellow college and university presidents, down to Manhattan for a fundraiser honoring a colleague, and then back up to the President’s Residence, Weber House, for what we can assume is a few hours of sleep before she does it all again the next day.

But the truth is, no, Dr. Burns does not have a clone. She just truly, deeply believes in the mission of the Mount, the work we do, and the students we serve and, for that reason, makes it her goal to attend, listen, and support as many people and initiatives connected to Mount Saint Vincent as she can.

That’s why it’s no surprise that Dr. Burns was named to not just one, but two trailblazer lists from City & State New York: the 2024 Bronx Power 100 List and the 2024 Trailblazers in Higher Education List.

We think that deserves a virtual round of applause! 👏

City & State New York is a well-established media organization that is dedicated to covering New York’s local and state politics, policy, and beyond. They are non-partisan and their coverage offers leaders and readers a guide to the issues impacting our state of New York. City & State New York offers round-the-clock coverage through award-winning commentary and analysis, weekly publications, daily e-briefs, events, podcast interviews, and more. Their Power Lists serve the purpose of highlighting those individuals who are making a difference in their communities.

The Bronx Power 100 list recognizes the Bronx’s remarkable local leaders, both in and out of government, who are battling on behalf of their borough—whether it’s electing more women to office, passing laws to protect tenants, combating pollution, leading educational change, or creating jobs.

Dr. Burns moved up one spot from last year’s rankings, coming in at number 34 out of 100 of the most notable and influential leaders in the Bronx. She is also one of just eight college and university presidents included on the list, bringing forth monumental change in the borough’s institutions of higher education.

The Trailblazers in Higher Education List recognizes some of New York’s top college and university professionals and the ways in which they are modeling how to respond to geopolitical controversies across campuses, navigate an increasingly digitized educational environment, and support prospective students through challenges like this year’s FAFSA application ups and downs. The list includes presidents, professors, and provosts, as well as higher education lobbyists, lawyers, nonprofit entrepreneurs, and advocates.

Dr. Burns is one of just 21 college and university presidents included on the 100-person list, but—considering there are over 400 institutions of higher education throughout New York State—it’s a pretty impressive feat.

“Being recognized by City & State New York for the work I am privileged to do in support of the University of Mount Saint Vincent’s mission, values, and community is truly an honor; however, it is important for me to note that I am not alone in this meaningful work,” reflected Dr. Burns. “There are many excellent faculty, staff, and administrative colleagues who come together on a daily basis to support our community of learners who are determined to transform their lives through their educational endeavors at UMSV.”

Dr. Burns continued:

“Seeing my name among the list of community leaders and change-makers in our Bronx community, New York City, and the State of New York is truly humbling. Although the recognition is nice, the true honor is serving as the President of this University that provides an authentically inclusive and academically excellent learning experience by meeting learners when, where, and how they need us.”

Congrats again, Dr. Burns! We know this is still just the start of all you’ll achieve here at the Right Place on the River and we can’t wait to see what’s next!

About the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the University of Mount Saint Vincent offers a 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 University equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment, and leadership in the 21st century.