Spring Hill College Announces the Inauguration of Mary H. Van Brunt, PhD as 39th President

(Mobile, Ala.) Spring Hill College marks the beginning of Women’s History Month by preparing for the Inauguration of Mary H. Van Brunt, PhD, the first female president in the College’s 193-year history. The ceremony will take place Friday, March 17, at 10:00 am in the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center.

The Commissioning Mass by the Provincial, Fr. Thomas Greene, S.J. will be held on Thursday, March 16, in St. Joseph Chapel at 9:30 am, followed by a coffee reception at Einstein’s and a Golf Tournament at 11:30 am. The full schedule of activities for inauguration week is available here: 

The College announced her selection as its 39th president in October of 2022, as she brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in Catholic Higher Education. She has served as Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and founding Academic Dean. She also spent twelve years in the banking, securities, and pharmaceutical industries. 

“Dr. Van Brunt has a successful, proven track record of leadership that demonstrates her depth of financial training and communication skills,” said Jack F. McKinney, Chair of Spring Hill College Board of Trustees. “Her reputation as a tireless, persistent, and charismatic leader, convinced us that she will unite and transform us into leaders for the next century.”

Van Brunt served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Gwynedd Mercy University in Gwynedd Valley, Pa., and as Founding Dean of the School of Business, Arts, and Media at Cabrini University in Radnor, Pa. She is a published author, consultant, certified global business professional, and prior certified management accountant. 

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa., a Master of Business Administration in Accounting from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pa., and a PhD in Economics from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. In her spare time, Van Brunt enjoys swimming, kayaking, traveling abroad, and spending time with her six adult children, family, and friends. She began her presidency in January, after relocating to Mobile with her husband Chris, and her dog Stella.


Founded in 1830, Spring Hill College is the oldest Catholic college in the Southeast and the third oldest Jesuit college in the United States. Spring Hill combines the Jesuit tradition of excellence in education and a commitment to caring for the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – with innovative educational experiences. Located in Mobile, Ala., Spring Hill’s mission is to form leaders engaged in learning, faith, justice and service for life. As a result, Spring Hill students are engaged, inspired and transformed by their experiences. 

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