Mary Kane, a 1980 graduate of St. Mark’s High School, has been named the chairwoman of the board of trustees at her alma mater, Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., the school announced last week. She is the first female board chair in the university’s history.
Kane assumes her new duties as the Mount emerges from a controversy involving its former president, Simon Newman. Newman resigned earlier this year after his proposal to improve retention rates by dismissing freshmen who were considered unlikely to succeed at the university were published by the school newspaper.
Kane’s predecessor, John Coyne, stepped down several months before his term as chair was due to expire. Coyne had been a prominent defender of Newman.
Kane, 54, who graduated from Mount St. Mary’s in 1984, is currently the chief executive officer of Sister Cities International, a nonprofit that assists citizens, municipal officials and business leaders in conducting long-term sister city relationships. Before assuming this position in October 2011, she was an executive director with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
A graduate of the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, Kane has been an assistant state’s attorney in Maryland and its secretary of state. She was once a candidate for lieutenant governor in Maryland.
The Wilmington native, whose maiden name is Deely, most recently was vice chairwoman of the board of trustees at the Mount. In a press release from the university, she explained why becoming chair is so important to her.
“Though I have traveled much, the Mount is my home,” she said. “Its faith-filled campus and mission to educate our future leaders in the Catholic tradition inspires me.”