Loyola Executive Vice President Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D., named president of Bellarmine University
After more than three decades of service in leadership at Loyola University Maryland, Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D., executive vice president, will leave at the end of the spring 2017 semester to become president of Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. She begins her new role on July 1.
“The breadth and depth of the impact of Dr. Donovan’s many contributions to Loyola University Maryland are impossible to capture,” said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president of Loyola. “She has, indeed, left her mark on Loyola, setting a gold standard for the service and care the University provides to students, deepening Loyola’s commitment to service in and beyond Baltimore, and inspiring our community to engage more fully in essential conversations around racial justice and equity. While I am extraordinarily sorry to lose her exceptional wisdom and integrity, as well as her tireless advocacy for our Jesuit values, I am also delighted for her and for the Bellarmine University community.”
As executive vice president, Donovan is second to the president and involved in almost every part of Loyola’s operations. She provides executive leadership for the divisions of advancement, enrollment management and communications, and student development, while overseeing the Center for Community Service and Justice, Campus Ministry, public safety, career services, external affairs, intercollegiate athletics, mission integration, the York Road Initiative, and the Green and Grey Society alumni network. In addition to those responsibilities, she served as acting president during Fr. Linnane’s six-month sabbatical in fall 2015, was a strategic partner in the design of Messina, and led efforts to move Loyola to the Patriot League athletic conference in 2013. She also helped Loyola secure several major financial gifts to support the ongoing Bright Minds, Bold Hearts campaign.
“I am very grateful to Fr. Brian Linnane for his support and counsel over the years. I worked for and learned from three outstanding Loyola presidents,” said Donovan. “I am also deeply grateful for my many colleagues among the faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees who shared their lives with our family and embodied the core values of Loyola.”
Before Donovan was appointed executive vice president in 2011, she served as the chief student development officer at Loyola for 23 years and dean of residence life from 1985-88. The active, supportive, and enriching residential campus culture Loyola students enjoy today is largely the product of her vision and leadership during a time of rapid growth and significant demographic change in Loyola’s undergraduate student population.
“It has been a privilege to educate, learn from, and be humbled by our students,” said Donovan. “My greatest joy has been to witness the inspired lives they lead after college and the impact they are making in our world.”
Donovan worked in housing operations at Saint Louis University for four years prior to accepting her first position at Loyola.
She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees at Buena Vista University—her alma mater—and she formerly served on boards of other prominent higher education and non-profit institutions. She holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Saint Louis University, M.S. in Higher Education from Florida State University, and B.A. in Communications from Buena Vista University.
Donovan lives in Baltimore City with her husband, Bill, who is an associate professor of history at Loyola. Their twin daughters are college students.
Plans for addressing the executive vice president vacancy at Loyola after Donovan's departure will be released at a later date.
Read Fr. Linnane's message to the Loyola community.