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Elliot Hirshman Appointed New President of Stevenson University

Dr. Elliot Hirshman

Elliot Hirshman, Ph.D.

March 8, 2017

The Stevenson University Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Elliot Hirshman, Ph.D., will be the University’s seventh president, effective July 1, 2017. He succeeds Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D., who served from 2000-2016, and Claire E. Moore who has served as Stevenson’s Interim President since December 2016. 

Hirshman joins the University after serving as president of San Diego State University (SDSU) since 2011. Under President Hirshman’s leadership, SDSU implemented an integrated budget and financial strategy; raised more than $755 million in private philanthropy for scholarships and new initiatives and programs; and established and endowed its Honors College. SDSU is recognized nationally for increasing student retention and graduation rates – rates that are equal across ethnic and racial groups. Hirshman is currently a member of the NCAA Board of Directors and former chairman of the Mountain West Conference Board.

“The Board of Trustees is confident that Dr. Hirshman is the right leader to continue the remarkable transformation and growth of Stevenson University and to take the institution to the next level,” says James B. Stradtner, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “After an intensive search process that began last summer with more than 200 individuals interested in the position, the search committee unanimously recommended to the Board that Hirshman serve as our next president. He is committed to ensuring that students from all backgrounds achieve excellence and go on to personal and professional success.”

“I am honored to join Stevenson University’s dynamic community,” said Hirshman. “Stevenson’s unique integration of career preparation and the traditional liberal arts reflects the best traditions of American higher education while envisioning a future that serves our students and our communities. The University’s core values of community, learning, integrity, and excellence were evident in every aspect of the recruitment process. I am excited to work collaboratively with our diverse community to support these values.”

“First and foremost, Elliot is focused on student academic achievement and success and has high expectations for providing a first-rate educational experience,” said Timothy P. White, Chancellor of the California State University system. “He is a champion of diversity because of his many experiences in higher education and he believes that it enriches the learning environment. And he is, far and away, the most successful fundraiser we’ve had at SDSU because of his talent for aligning people’s passions with areas where we want to provide excellence on campus, such as matching the right donor to a student scholarship. He really has a remarkable track record in California.”

Prior to Hirshman’s appointment at SDSU, he served as provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

“Elliot is one of the nation’s most impressive thought leaders in education,” said Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President of UMBC. “He has broad experience in all types of institutions, and he commands the respect of leaders throughout the United States. Most important, he cares deeply about students and understands the important role that institutions play in developing their skills and preparing them for productive careers. When he was at UMBC, he showed us just how talented he is. If I had to use one word to describe him, it would be ‘amazing.’ Baltimore is fortunate to have him returning to us, and we are very happy for Stevenson.”

Hirshman also has been chief research officer at the George Washington University and chaired the Department of Psychology there and at the University of Colorado at Denver. He began his academic career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hirshman earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in economics and mathematics from Yale and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from UCLA. He has been married to Jeri Hirshman for nearly 28 years. Jeri is a registered nurse who enjoys participating in local and national film festivals. Their daughter, Wendy, graduated from Muhlenberg College and is now married and living in Northern Virginia. Their son, Nathan, is a student at the Duke University School of Medicine.

Stevenson University, known for its distinctive career focus, is the third-largest independent university in Maryland with more than 4,100 students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and adult bachelor’s programs at locations in Stevenson and Owings Mills.

  • Essential Functions

    Essential Functions

    • Raise private funds to support the University’s mission. Personally cultivate and solicit major donors.

    • Collaborate with alumni, supporters, students, faculty, staff, and administrators to advance Stevenson’s culture of philanthropy.

    • Provide strategies for senior and volunteer leadership to identify, cultivate, olicit, and steward donors and prospects.

    • Foster relations with business partners and members of the external community to promote the University’s mission.

    • Advise the President on all matters concerning development and special events, and serve on the President’s Cabinet.

    • Collaborate with the Chief Financial Officer to develop and implement annual development goals and strategies that align with the University’s strategic priorities.

    • Participate in the University’s strategic planning and in developing new initiatives that advance the University in the community.

    • Attend the President’s Advisory Council biannual and Board of Trustees quarterly meetings.

    • Mentor advancement staff and conduct annual performance appraisals of direct reports.

    Note: Please see job description online for complete details on essential functions.

  • University Advancement Highlights

    University Advancement Highlights 

    • Inspiring Students, Building Careers: The Campaign for Villa Julie—the University’s first major comprehensive campaign—is launched in 2007 with goal to raise $20 million to support the new School of Business and Leadership, the endowment, and special projects.
    • Villa Julie changes its name to Stevenson University in June 2008.
    • Stevenson announces the completion of Inspiring Students, Building Careers: The Campaign for Stevenson University in December 2009, raising more than $20.4 million for the University.
    • The University receives the largest naming gifts in its history. The Beverly K. Fine School of the Sciences and the Sandra R. Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions are dedicated in August 2016.
    • Stevenson raises more than $14.3 million by March 2017 to support its new 200,000-square-foot Manning Academic Center.
    • The University has 60 endowed and annual scholarships with funds ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. The average award is $3,500.
    • Stevenson alumni number more than 17,000. Maryland is home to 80 percent of SU’s alumni.
  • About Stevenson University

    About Stevenson University

    Stevenson University is Maryland’s third-largest independent university, offering students an exceptional college experience, a connection to their career aspirations, and a close-knit, supportive community centered on their success.

    Founded in 1947 as Villa Julie College, the college adopted the name Stevenson University in June 2008 to reflect its growing size, expanding mission, and breadth of academic offerings. Today, the University serves more than 4,000 students pursuing bachelor’s degrees on campus as well as master’s and adult undergraduate degrees through Stevenson University Online.

    As the University marks its 70th anniversary in 2017, it also welcomes its seventh president, Elliot Hirshman, Ph.D., who previously served as president of San Diego State University and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

    Located in suburban northwest Baltimore County, Maryland, Stevenson’s Owings Mills campus includes 13 residence halls and the Ratcliffe Community Center for students; the Brown School of Business and Leadership; the Caves Sports and Wellness Center; the Owings Mills Gymnasium; Mustang Stadium; Office of Career Services and Center for Student Success; and the Rockland Center for student dining and social events.

    In recent years, the campus has grown to include Owings Mills North, linked to the main Owings Mills campus by the Dell Family Pathway and bridge spanning the scenic Gwynns Falls waterway. Owings Mills North serves as home to Stevenson’s School of Design as well as the Beverly K. Fine School of the Sciences and the Sandra R. Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions located in the new 200,000-square-foot Kevin J. Manning Academic Center.

    With 27 athletic teams—including football, men’s and women’s lacrosse, ice hockey, basketball, soccer, and volleyball—Stevenson has become known as a national leader in NCAA Division III sports, with numerous conference championships and appearances in national championships under its belt.

    The University is home to a vibrant arts and cultural experience, offering a rich calendar of exhibitions, talks, concerts, and theatre performances throughout the year in its four art galleries and the 330-seat Inscape Theatre, which is located on the Greenspring campus. The University also hosts the annual Baltimore Speakers Series that brings world political, cultural, and opinion leaders to the Greater Baltimore community.

A History of Stevenson University

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Seven Oaks
Villa Julie College is founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at "Seven Oaks," an 80-acre estate in Greenspring Valley, formerly the home of the George Carrell Jenkins family. The College opens its doors on October 1, specializing in medical-secretarial training.
Kitty Lynch, Elaine Lucas, and Mary Ellen Jones work on an accounting issue, 1959.
Official approval as a two-year college is granted by the Maryland State Department of Education.
A sewing class, 1965
The College receives Maryland state approval for a child development program and for transfer programs in the arts and sciences as well as teacher education. Shortly thereafter, the College is granted an "A" rating for transferability of credits by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.
Villa Julie becomes an independent institution, separating from the Catholic Church. Control is vested in a newly formed Board of Trustees comprised of business, civic, and professional leaders.
A student stands next to the Villa Julie College sign
In response to increasing enrollment, the College builds a multi-million dollar complex consisting of an art wing, learning resource center, and student center. Evening and summer sessions are inaugurated this same year.
Villa Julie becomes co-education
Villa Julie becomes co-educational, admitting its first full-time male student.
A Paralegal Studies student at the computer in the 1980s
Villa Julie becomes a four-year college, offering a bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems. Later, a degree in Paralegal Studies is added. The College continues to offer a two-year program leading to associate's degrees for all available majors.
A student in the 1980s focuses on science
A solid grounding in science was a prerequisite for many of the careers sought by Villa Julie Students in the late 1980s.
Villa Julie graduates, 1986
The concept of career education combined with the liberal arts becomes a hallmark of Villa Julie's philosophy, Pro Discendo, Pro Vivendo: for learning, for living.
Students and faculty use some of the first networked computers at Village Julie
The College designs and installs a sophisticated computer network, enabling students and faculty to access software and library resources from any building on campus.
Cuvilly Hall becomes the Student-Faculty Exchange
Containing an upscale cafe, a spacious reading room, and faculty offices, the new Student-Faculty Exchange provides an area for students and faculty to meet on an informal basis. Off-campus apartments are opened a short distance from the College this year.
Early Lacrosse photo
Villa Julie's athletic programs are accepted into NCAA Division III. The College's lacrosse team quickly reached high levels of competitiveness, becoming a respected NCAA Division III contender.
Art Gallery in 1995
Construction of the current Dawson Center, Inscape Theatre, Manuszak Center, Greenspring gymnasium, and science center begin as the first phase of the College's master plan for the campus.
Dawson Center
The Dawson Center and Inscape Theatre open in August and the Manuszak Center and gymnasium open in November.
1998 Science Center Opening
A new Science Center opens with top-notch research facilities and equipment.
Kevin Manning, Ph.D., fourth President of Villa Julie College
Kevin Manning, Ph.D., brought new energy to Villa Julie's educational mission in 2000 when he began his tenure as the College's fourth President.
Baltimore County Executive James Smith Maryland Secretary of Budget and Management, James C.
Villa Julie opens its first College-owned housing complex in Owings Mills. The garden apartments and community center surround a quad perfect for campus activities.
Residence buildings at Villa Julie College
On the Owings Mills property, Villa Julie opens the first of three planned suite-style residence buildings that accommodate between three and four students in a mixture of single and double bedrooms. The College names the residence buildings and community center after historical sites in Baltimore County, such as the Avalon Inn, and various valleys, including Cromwell Valley and Worthington Valley.
Students dining in Rockland Center
The College opens Rockland Center (a dining and student center) and the Caves Sports and Wellness Center on the Owings Mills Campus in the fall. Renovations to the Exchange create new space for the music program. The expanded Nursing Skills Lab offers a new home for SimMan, a life-like manikin designed to develop the clinical skills of nursing students.
Students celebrate the first Founder's Day, 2007
Villa Julie marks its 60th anniversary with the first Founder's Day Celebration on Oct. 1. The first complete history of the College, A Vision and a Promise: Villa Julie College, is published. Construction begins on the School of Business.
Villa Julie College becomes Stevenson University
On June 11, the Board of Trustees voted to change the name of Villa Julie College to Stevenson University. The opening of the School of Business and Leadership marks a solid dedication to business, leadership, and entrepreneurial programs at Stevenson University.
Villa Julie College of Arts and Sciences at Stevenson University
On March 24, President Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D. approves the University Restructuring Plan, which supports the creation of three new schools within the Villa Julie College Arts and Sciences.
The Owings Mills gymnasium
In the fall, the new Owings Mills gymnasium opens, encompassing approximately 60,000 square feet, featuring seating for 1,400, and offering premier athletic and fan amenities.
Stadium at Owings Mills
The University unveils a new 3,500 seat stadium on its Owings Mills Campus. Designed to rival any facility found in Division III athletics, the stadium accommodates football, lacrosse, and soccer on two synthetic turf fields and provides a host of features for athletes, patrons, the press, and fans. Stevenson's first football team and marching band debut in the fall, and the first women's ice hockey coach is hired.
School of Design building
Stevenson's new School of Design opens on the Owings Mills Campus.
Victory Statue at Mustang Stadium
Victory statue makes its debut outside of Mustang Stadium on the Owings Mills Campus. The statue will represent the strength and unity of the entire Stevenson community and the spirit that drives everything from its growth to its championship athletic teams.
2015: Dedication of the Guarnieri Sculpture Garden
Stevenson announces the addition of an 11-piece sculpture garden situated within the Knott Hall courtyard.
Kevin J. Manning Academic Center
The Kevin J. Manning Academic Center Opens at Owings Mills. Stevenson's state-of-the-art, 200,000-square-foot Kevin J. Manning Academic Center opens on August 30, providing resources for the Beverly K. Fine School of the Sciences, the Sandra R. Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions, and additional space for the School of Design.
Claire Moore, Interim President
Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D., retired on November 29, 2016 after 16 years as President of Stevenson University. Manning was inaugurated as the fourth president of Villa Julie College in October 2000 and played an integral role in many of the University’s groundbreaking accomplishments. Villa Julie College alumna Claire E. Moore, who has served as Vice President of Student Affairs, begins serving as Interim President of Stevenson University.
Elliot Hirschman
The Stevenson University Board of Trustees announces that Elliot Hirshman, Ph.D., will be the University’s sixth president, effective July 1, 2017.