As we conclude Women’s History Month, we are proud to share the stories of inspiring female leaders at six Jesuit institutions in this issue of Connections. From deans to provosts to a former Saint Louis University administrator who still volunteers on campus at age 95 (!), these remarkable women have committed their talent, intellect, energy and time to teaching and encouraging thousands of students.

This month has been particularly exciting for the AJCU network: we celebrated the inauguration of Dr. Linda LeMura, the first female lay president of a Jesuit college or university in the United States. Dr. LeMura leads Le Moyne College, the second-youngest of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities and the first to open as a co-educational institution [in 1946]. During her inauguration on March 20th, AJCU President Rev. Michael J. Sheeran, S.J. remarked that she is “absolutely the right person to lead this school.” We welcome Dr. LeMura to the AJCU network and wish her continued success.

Dr. LeMura follows in the footsteps of Sr. Maureen Fay, O.P., the first woman to lead a Jesuit institution as president of the University of Detroit Mercy from 1990 to 2004. Sr. Fay later led the AJCU Seminar on Higher Education Leadership, which is now overseen by Jeanne Fielding Lord, J.D., Ed.D. of Georgetown University. You will read more about Dr. Lord and her leadership of this influential program in this issue of Connections.

We thank all of the women who serve our institutions as leaders in the Ignatian tradition.

On behalf of AJCU, we wish you a blessed, happy Easter.

Deanna I. Howes
Director of Communications, AJCU