Carnegie Corporation of New York Honors Trinity President Patricia McGuire as Higher Education Visionary with 2015 Academic Leadership Award

Carnegie Corporation of New York Honors Trinity President Patricia McGuire as Higher Education Visionary with 2015 Academic Leadership Award

President McGuire is the First Catholic College President and First D.C. Higher Education Leader to Earn Prestigious Honor

Carnegie Corporation of New York today announced that Trinity Washington University President Patricia McGuire is one of just four presidents nationally to receive the prestigious 2015 Academic Leadership Award. The other presidents honored are Ronald Daniels of Johns Hopkins University, Diana Natalicio of the University of Texas at El Paso and C.L. Max Nikias of the University of Southern California.

President McGuire is the first president of a Catholic college or university to receive the award; the first president of a D.C. institution to be honored; and only the second women’s college president to be recognized.

The Academic Leadership Award was established in 2005 in honor of Andrew Carnegie’s commitment to education and the diffusion of knowledge as fundamental tools for building a strong society and democracy. The award, which is given every two years, recognizes exemplary university presidents who display a commitment to the liberal arts, excellence and access, curricular innovation, the development of major interdisciplinary programs, reform of K-12 education, international engagement, and the promotion of strong links between their institutions and their local communities. Each honoree’s institution will receive a grant of $500,000 to be used toward furthering the honoree’s academic initiatives.


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“The United States is blessed with thousands of universities and colleges that enrich our society and our democracy and prepare the next generation of specialists, leaders, and citizens” said Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “This award recognizes some exemplary leaders of those institutions, who embody the best qualities of leadership – not merely managerial skills, but institutional vision and an abiding commitment to high quality, diversity, curricular innovation, and investment in their communities. I am extremely proud to count this year’s recipients among the 20 college and university presidents the Corporation has honored with the Academic Leadership Award over the past 10 years.” Read official Carnegie Corporation news release.

“I am deeply grateful to be honored by Carnegie Corporation of New York,” said President McGuire. “I share this honor with the many Trinity faculty and staff colleagues who have been committed to making higher education accessible to our students, and to the many graduates, partners, benefactors and Trustees who have made our mission possible. I also appreciate our students, who bring so much value and determination to the Trinity community and who inspire us every day. I am humbled to be honored with three distinguished presidents and to join the legacy of past recipients who are national leaders in higher education.”

“I am very pleased that Trinity will receive this generous grant which, at a small institution, will make a very significant impact,” President McGuire said. “We will use the grant to create an academic innovation fund that will support Trinity’s most important strategic initiatives.”

“Those of us who have the honor to work with President McGuire know first-hand her transformational leadership of Trinity,” said Sr. Patricia O’Brien, SND, Chair of the Trinity Board of Trustees. “This honor brings well-deserved attention to her unwavering and passionate commitment to expanding access to higher education – at Trinity and nationally. She has brought renewed vitality to Trinity, guided by the charism of the Sisters of Notre Dame.”

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The Carnegie Corporation is honoring President McGuire for transforming Trinity from a small, Catholic women’s college into a thriving university, committed to making higher education accessible to under-served students, particularly economically disadvantaged students of color from the D.C. community. “In effect, she has brought Trinity back, full circle, to its 1897 founding mission: making higher education accessible to women to whom it was denied,” noted the Carnegie Corporation in its official announcement. The Carnegie Corporation highlighted several achievements since she became president in 1989:

  •  Revitalized Trinity’s commitment to the College of Arts and Sciences, the historic women’s college, and added the Schools of Education, Professional Studies, Business and Graduate Studies, and Nursing and Health Professions, all of which are part-time evening and weekend programs, and are coeducational.
  • Forged new partnerships with a wide range of community-based organizations and scholarship programs focused on expanding access to higher education, including the D.C. College Access Program, College Success Foundation-D.C., D.C. Public Schools, TheDream.US, D.C. Tuition Assistant Grant program, KIPP, Cristo Rey Network, and the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital.
  • Created a multifaceted approach to retaining and ensuring the academic success of students including “care teams” to monitor students for signs of distress, with remedies ranging from emergency subway cards and a campus food pantry to intensive mentoring and specially designed curriculums.
  • Developed and led two capital campaigns that raised more than $70 million and funded the construction of the Trinity Center for Women and Girls in Sports, a state-of-the-art athletics complex that serves students and neighbors in the surrounding communities, and the new Trinity Academic Center, currently under construction and opening in 2016, that will provide state-of-the art science and nursing labs and classrooms.

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About Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York was established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.

About Trinity Washington University

Founded in 1897 by the Sisters of Notre Dame as a Catholic college for women, Trinity Washington University today is a vibrant institution with five schools and more than 2,100 students, continuing the historic, liberal arts women’s college with more than 1,000 undergraduates, while providing a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees to women and men of all ages.

Ann Pauley, Trinity, , 202-884-9725
Celeste Ford, Carnegie Corporation of New York,, 212-207-6277