MaryAnn Baenninger began as the 13th president of Drew University in July 2014. Drew is a liberal arts University that includes the undergraduate College of Liberal Arts, the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, and the Theological School. Prior to her presidency at Drew, Baenninger completed a very successful 10-year presidency at College of Saint Benedict, a national liberal arts college known particularly for its strength in international education.
Drew University is ranked among the top liberal arts institutions nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Washington Monthly, and The Princeton Review. Its distinctions include an innovative approach to the arts and humanities, an emphasis on hands-on learning in the STEM fields, and pioneering experiential learning models, including the New York Semesters. The University fosters a commitment to social justice, community, and corporate engagement, manifested in deep connections with the communities of Madison, NJ, Newark, NJ, and New York City.
Before becoming a college president, Baenninger was executive associate director with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in Philadelphia, where she developed an expertise in higher education assessment. Baenninger also served as a tenured member of the Psychology Department at College of New Jersey, and held teaching positions early in her career at Philadelphia University and Washington College.
Baenninger has served on the boards of many organizations, including the Women’s College Coalition Board, the Council on Independent Colleges, Minnesota Public Radio, and the American University of Sharjah, a US-accredited private coeducational university in the United Arab Emirates. She currently serves on the board of NAICU, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the State Fund Members Advisory Council for the Council on Independent Colleges.
Baenninger earned her bachelor’s degree, Summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Temple University, where she also earned her PhD, both in psychology. She has published extensively on gender and cognition and outcomes assessment in higher education. Baenninger is most proud of her support of experiential and international education. While President of College of Saint Benedict, the institution received the Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. Baenninger was also honored with the William M. Burke Presidential Award from the National Society for Experiential Education in 2013.