Dr. Christine Pharr named Mount Mary's 12th president

Dr. Christine Pharr, a chemistry professor turned administrator, will become Mount Mary University’s next president on July 1, 2017. She possesses a passion for women's leadership, particularly in the sciences.

Pharr comes uniquely positioned to lead the university. Her multi-dimensional background includes roles in advancement, fundraising and academic affairs. A higher education administrator and faculty member with more than 20 years of experience, Pharr's unique skill set made her singularly qualified to lead the institution, which is poised to build upon its commitment to support health and wellness within the community.

"Dr. Pharr is an educator with a strong connection to the mission of Mount Mary University and the charism of the School Sisters of Notre Dame," said Marie O'Brien, chair of the Mount Mary Board of Trustees. "Her leadership experience in both academic affairs and alumnae and donor relations, coupled with her ability to articulate a bold yet achievable future, provide Mount Mary with the unique skill set necessary to lead the institution into our next phase of excellence."

We'll be sharing more about Dr. Pharr through updated videos. Topics include:

Dr. Pharr on the importance of role models

Dr. Christine Pharr has the experience and expertise to join the Mount Mary University community as its next president.

Catholic institutions lead in educating women

Dr. Pharr describes a significant difference between Catholic versus public higher education: “every private school which I have attended, or in which I have worked, had a mission statement regularly referenced by students, faculty, and staff.” She explains that beyond the community investing in its mission, there are sometimes physical places, but often more times of respite, reflection and prayer.

And it's because of a strong sense of mission that she finds Mount Mary University to be a fit with her experience and values. Dr. Pharr believes that her faith is deeply embedded in her leadership and strives to model this every day. “My reasoning about the importance of this embedded mission is that if we are to assist students in the importance of finding meaningfulness, might we not first model that at the institutional level?”

How to advance the mission at Mount Mary


The mission of Mount Mary comes from the School Sisters of Notre Dame, which really has to do with the education of women and trying to serve the needs of the underserved. I want Mount Mary to be sensitive to the needs of Milwaukee and the surrounding areas.

Listen to interview

Dr. Christine Pharr

A mentor leads to success in your career field

Dr. Pharr credits a Sister at her undergraduate institution with not only with impacting her desire to major in chemistry and biology but also serving as a valued role model. “She really invested in students and helped them prepare not only for a career but also to be a great person,” Pharr says.

Read her alumna profile

If we wish for the intellectual discussions in the classroom to take deep root in students and to influence their choices in work and life, then we must develop and require educational experiences that strongly impact students' hearts as well as their minds.

Read her article

Dr. Christine Pharr