Merrimack College names new president

NORTH ANDOVER -- Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Merrimack College Laurence M. Demers recently announced the selection of Christopher Hopey as the next president of Merrimack College. Hopey will take over the position on July 1, 2010.

The selection of Hopey to lead Merrimack College comes as a result of a national search by the college’s Presidential Search Committee and the nomination of a final list of candidates by the Prior Provincial of the Order of St. Augustine, the Father Don Reilly, OSA from Villanova University. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to select Hopey at their meeting on March 5.

Dr. Hopey comes to Merrimack College with leadership experience in higher education, having served as vice president and dean of Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies, as well as vice dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

Hopey has a Ph.D. in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.P.A. and B.S. in political science from Northeastern University.

“I am convinced that Dr. Hopey’s energy, leadership skills, and demonstrated expertise in higher education will enable Merrimack College to advance its academic programs to a higher level of excellence and achievement,” said Demers. “He will provide the necessary leadership for our long range strategic planning to position the college for growth and development as we enter a decade of increasing competitiveness for the most talented students in New England and beyond.”

“I am honored to be selected as the eighth President of Merrimack College,” said Dr. Hopey. “Merrimack’s history as an Augustinian institution of higher education, its position as a leading Northeast Catholic liberal arts college, the academic excellence of its faculty and Merrimack’s thriving student and alumni communities make the college well positioned for future growth with academic excellence and distinction.”

Since July 1, 2008, Ronald Champagne has served as the president of Merrimack College while the college established a search committee for a long term president.

According to Champagne, “Dr. Hopey is clearly the best suited individual to fulfill the college’s mission to enlighten minds, engage hearts and empower the lives of our students.”

Dr. Demers thanked Dr. Champagne for his leadership over the past two years, saying, “His professional contribution to the school in the past two years has been exemplary and we are indebted to his service as an able college administrator.”