For Release: June 12, 2007
Marylhurst University president, Nancy Wilgenbusch, Ph.D., announced her intention to retire at the end of the 2007 - 2008 academic year. Selected in 1984 as president of the liberal arts and professional studies university, she championed its rich heritage in adult learning, intellectual tradition and strong academic programs.
"After 23 years as president of Marylhurst University, I'm ready to move on to the next phase of my life. I know this is the right time for a transition of leadership at the university," Dr. Wilgenbusch said. "Marylhurst is poised for the next phase of growth and the timing of my announcement allows the board of trustees to conduct a comprehensive search."
Ruth Beyer, chair of Marylhurst's board of trustees and partner at Stoel Rives LLP, will head the search committee. "On behalf of the board of trustees and the entire Marylhurst University community, I want to thank Dr. Wilgenbusch for her service to the university," Beyer said. "She accomplished great things for Marylhurst during her tenure as president. She guided Marylhurst to a place where we can recruit a strong successor as president. Our goal is to have the new president in place for the 2008 - 2009 academic year.
"Dr. Wilgenbusch's leadership provided a solid foundation for the university's future," Beyer added. "Marylhurst is a sound institution, fiscally and academically. Her vision for serving the broader higher education community, including adult learners, led to the addition of many programs and departments. Over the years she built a vibrant student-centered university."
During Dr. Wilgenbusch's presidency, academic expansion included the development of niche programs such as Interior Design, Music Therapy, Real Estate Studies and Art Therapy Counseling; the creation of a graduate college offering seven degrees; and the launch of accelerated online programs serving students across the nation.
Wilgenbusch oversaw new initiatives including: the transition from college to university in 1998; the launch of one of the nation's first online degree completion programs; and the implementation of an innovative liberal arts program for adult students. Under her leadership Marylhurst was consistently recognized as one of the top schools for meeting the needs of adult learners by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), a national organization that focuses exclusively on promoting access to lifelong learning opportunities for adults.
"For more than two decades Dr. Wilgenbusch has advanced the tradition of excellence at Marylhurst," said Fred Miller, retired PGE executive and member of Marylhurst's board of trustees. "Her commitment is inspiring, and she should be proud of her accomplishments. She leaves the university immeasurably stronger. I know that Marylhurst will continue to build on her achievements."
Steve Spence, UBS financial advisor and former chair of Marylhurst's board of trustees, expressed his appreciation and respect for the accomplishments of Dr. Wilgenbusch. "She has been compassionate, intense, fiscally conservative and uncompromising in her dedication to Marylhurst."
"I treasure the time that I have spent at Marylhurst working with the trustees, faculty, staff, Sisters of the Holy Names, alumni and students. Together we have achieved strategic positioning for the future of the university," Dr. Wilgenbusch added. "I know I leave Marylhurst in good hands."
Dr. Wilgenbusch's contributions to the community extend beyond Marylhurst University. Currently, she serves as a board member for Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette, Caldera, Clackamas Women's Services and Marysville Grade School Advisory Committee. Her corporate board directorships include West Coast Bank, Cascade Corp and Oregon Tax Free Trust Fund. Prior, she served for 10 years as a commissioner for the Port of Portland and six years as chair of the Portland branch of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank.
Marylhurst is located 10 minutes south of Portland on Highway 43. Marylhurst University, #1 in the Pacific Northwest for small class size according to U.S. News & World Report, offers professional certificates and degrees for undergraduate and graduate studies.