St. Catharine College names its eighth president

Cindy Gnadinger
Dr. Cindy Gnadinger, St. Catharine College’s next president

This release and accompanying photo courtesy of St. Catharine College.

ST. CATHARINE, KY., June 12, 2015 – Dr. Cindy Meyers Gnadinger, currently serving as provost at St. Catharine College, has been selected to serve as the eighth president of St. Catharine College, effective July 1.

Gnadinger, who earned a doctorate of education in supervision of instruction from University of Louisville, will succeed William D. Huston at the liberal arts institution in St. Catharine, Ky. Huston was named president in 1997. He announced his retirement in February after serving 18 years as the college president.

“I am enthusiastic about the credentials and energy Dr. Gnadinger brings to St. Catharine College. In particular, her academic background and appreciation of the Dominican charism are aligned with the mission of the college,” said John Turner, chairman of St. Catharine College’s Board of Trustees.

Gnadinger joined St. Catharine College in June 2014 as vice president for academic affairs. She was quickly promoted to provost, with responsibilities including overseeing faculty, academic programs, accreditation, the Emily W. Hundley Library, the Office of Student Success, the Office of the Registrar, the Office of Admissions and the Financial Aid Office.

Prior to joining the St. Catharine College administration, Gnadinger served as vice president for academic affairs at William Peace University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and as assistant vice president for academic affairs at Bellarmine University in Louisville.

Gnadinger spent 13 years at Bellarmine University, serving as a professor, department chair, dean and assistant vice president for academic affairs.

While at Bellarmine, she led the development of four new graduate degree programs, coordinated formal outreach initiatives to community agencies and established the Bellarmine Center for Teaching, Excellence, and Leadership.

“With a background of building strong academic programs of excellence, Dr. Gnadinger is the perfect architect to better posture St. Catharine College for a more competitive and successful level of achievement in the future,” said William D. Huston, current St. Catharine College president. “She is undoubtedly the person that can take us to the next level for continued success in an extremely competitive higher education environment.”

Gnadinger is also a Fulbright Scholar with research interests that include the teaching and learning processes in P-12 and higher education settings. She also brings experience in seeking external funds, with her efforts resulting in the procurement of approximately $3 million in contributions.

Besides holding former faculty and administration roles, Gnadinger was selected for the Council on Independent Colleges’ (CIC) Senior Leadership Academy, a “yearlong program designed to assist in filling the gap in the current leadership pipeline by continuing the preparation of leaders who show promise of developing the talents and skills needed to succeed in a senior leadership position on campus. The Senior Leadership Academy also helps participants obtain a better understanding of the broader context within which their own institution operates and a perspective on higher education beyond their current role,” according to the CIC website.

Other achievements in her career include expansion of academic programs at both William Peace University and Bellarmine University. At Bellarmine, she also led the establishment of the Office of Sponsored Projects and enhanced faculty development opportunities including the Spotlight Series, a monthly professional development workshop series, and an iPad faculty-learning community.

“Dr. Gnadinger comes with proven higher administrative experience, which well-equip her to be the president of St. Catharine College,” said Sr. Maria Ciriello, St. Catharine College trustee and executive committee member. “Dr. Gnadinger’s passion for the future of the college and her concern for students will drive all her endeavors.”

Ciriello also noted that Gnadinger’s new ideas, energy and enthusiasm will light up the campus.

Sr. Margaret Ormond, prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, also expressed confidence in Gnadinger’s ability to lead.

“As Dominican Sisters and Associates of Peace, we claim our charism to preach truth through education and care for the earth,” Ormond said. “We have done this at St. Catharine since 1822. We know that Dr. Cindy Gnadinger will honor this tradition as the president of St. Catharine College. We welcome her leadership, her energy and her love for St. Catharine College. We hope that she will join us in unfolding a future full of hope. She will have our prayer and our support.”

Len Spalding, a St. Catharine College trustee and benefactor, sees a long career ahead for Gnadinger at the college.

“St. Catharine College is particularly fortunate to have Dr. Gnadinger as Bill Huston’s successor,” Spalding said. “Her background in higher education circles prepares her for the tasks associated with leading the college in the next stage of its growth. Her passion for St. Catharine College and her abundant energy will serve the school well over the next 15 years or so. Speaking as a trustee, Dr. Gnadinger has shared some of her vision and goals for the college and we are all 100 percent behind her and eager to help her in any way possible.”

Bill Tatum, St. Catharine College trustee and presidential search committee chairman, said Gnadinger was a clear choice as the next president.

“I believe Dr. Gnadinger will be an exceptional president who has all the tools necessary to continue the college’s growth,” Tatum said. “We were fortunate to have someone with her experience and skill set on staff to assure a seamless transition.”

Gnadinger said she looks forward to leading St. Catharine College into the future.

“I am honored to serve as the eighth president of St. Catharine College,” she said. “I look forward to building on the strong foundation that has been established at this historic institution. I am grateful to the Board of Trustees and the Dominican Sisters of Peace for the confidence they have placed in my leadership. The Dominican pillars of prayer, study, ministry, and community make St. Catharine an ideal place for me to continue my work with faculty, staff, and students. I am eager to get started and look forward to working with our community to enhance the impact of our college.”

The new president will feel right at home on campus, Ciriello said, as Gnadinger is a native of nearby Bullitt County. She and her husband, John, currently reside in Fisherville. She and her husband have three sons; Luke, Dean and Kyle.

Founded in the Dominican tradition in 1931 and sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Peace, St. Catharine College, a Catholic Dominican college inspired by its founders, welcomes all to the challenging pursuit of truth, preparing them to become critical thinkers, ethical leaders and engaged citizens.