Presley succeeds Kevin P. Duffy, who will retire this month after 24 years as vice president of student affairs. Announcing the appointment, University President William P. Leahy, SJ, cited Presley's extensive administrative and academic experience as well as her leadership qualifications and reputation for developing student service programs as the key factors that distinguished her from a prestigious pool of applicants.
"Dr. Presley is an experienced, respected administrator in the Student Affairs field and a very caring person," said Fr. Leahy. "I believe she will contribute much to the Jesuit, Catholic mission and character of Boston College."
In accepting the appointment, Presley expressed excitement about coming to Boston College after working for more than 20 years in her native Colorado.
"I am very happy to come to Boston College because of the quality of the institution and because of the direction Fr. Leahy wants to take this university in terms of his vision for the future," she said. "I was impressed to hear him and others on the search committee talk about a commitment to the holistic development of the student, including spiritual, social and academic development. Boston College has a fine reputation, as do the Jesuits.
"To be a part of shaping student formation at BC is very exciting. For me, all of this is just perfect."
As associate vice president for student affairs since 1996, Presley directed a number of Colorado State's academic support units, including the Help/Success Center, Center for Education Access and Outreach, Academic Advancement/Student Special Services Program, University Counseling Center and the Career Center.
Presley also served as assistant vice president, where her duties included supervision of recreational sports, community services, judicial affairs, student legal services, university ombudsman and the Center for Alcohol Education.
In addition to her administrative duties, Presley taught as an assistant professor in Colorado State's Higher Education Graduate Program. She was named recipient of Colorado State's Dr. Blanche Mitchell Hughes Distinguished Faculty/Staff Award in 1997 and 1998, and was the winner of the university's Minority Distinguished Service Award in 1996.
Cheryl L. Presley
Prior to her arrival at Colorado State, Presley was a teaching assistant at the University of Michigan's Center for Afro-American and African Studies. She had also served as a staff assistant to the Higher and Adult Continuing Education Program at the University of Michigan (1986) and assistant to the academic vice president at Metropolitan State College in Denver from 1981 until 1986.
A 1974 graduate of Colorado State with a bachelor of arts degree in social work, Presley earned a master's degree in adult education from CSU in 1975 and a second master's degree in higher and adult continuing education from the University of Michigan in 1989. In 1995, she received her doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Michigan.
Members of the search committee who selected Presley praised her as a person of exceptional talent, experience and integrity.
"Dr. Presley is a person with a tremendous presence who clearly possesses a love of students and a concern for their personal development," said Prof. Mary Roberts (Chemistry). "As soon as I listened to her, I knew that she would be the right person for Boston College. I think she will make a real difference on a variety of levels."
Added fellow search committee member and UGBC President Alvin Barnett, '01, "She has incredible charisma and enthusiasm, and brings a lot of qualities to BC that will benefit the students. As a student teacher, I think the hiring of a woman of color for this important position says a lot about Boston College. I look forward to working with her."
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