Welcome event brings next president Dr. Christine Pharr to campus

University introduces wellness initiative at welcome event

Poised to expand academic programming, equipment and facilities in support of Mount Mary University's commitment to provide creative and responsive education that addresses wellness and community needs, Mount Mary welcomed President-Elect Dr. Christine Pharr to campus Feb. 23.

The welcome event marked Pharr's first public appearance on campus since being named to the position in December, 2016, and channeled the excitement of a significant initiative that includes a $1 million state-of-the-art learning environment upgrade.

With a foundation in the liberal arts and a strong background in science and women's education, President-Elect Pharr is uniquely qualified to lead this next chapter of growth and expansion, said Marie O'Brien, chair of the University's Board of Trustees. Pharr, a onetime chemistry professor, strongly advocates advancing women in the
sciences. In her previous roles at Saint Mary's College in Omaha, Neb., Pharr has overseen dramatic growth in community engagement and program expansions in
business, science, nursing, physician assistant studies and education.

"We are embarking upon new health and science programming and we have chosen a strong leader who will carry forward this important work and make these plans a reality," O'Brien said.

The Wellness Initiative reinforces the University's commitment to provide creative learning in both sciences and liberal arts:

  • Expanded academic programs: A new degree program in food science-one of two in the state-will prepare students to become leaders in the region's thriving food and beverage industry, while the Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion program makes it possible for working RNs to attain their bachelor's degree.
  • Upgraded learning spaces: Construction is set to begin this summer on phase one of this initiative, which includes modernizing the food laboratory, providing dietetics, food science and occupational therapy students new facilities for research, experimentation and testing.
  • It will include a new sensory laboratory for food testing. These initial renovations lay a foundation for other holistic, wellness-focused expansions in conjunction with the University's strategic plan in growing art therapy, occupational therapy and nursing programming.

"Mount Mary understands the fullest and deepest definition of the word wellness, one that embraces mind and body, heart and soul," said President Eileen Schwalbach. "This exciting Wellness Initiative applies our creative approach in preparing women for the critical role that women should - and will - play in meeting the wellness needs of our community."

Mount Mary in the news:

Dr. Christine Pharr

I foresee Mount Mary to be a partner in the Milwaukee community, developing strong women leaders who will serve the needs of those most requiring our expertise and dedication.

Dr. Christine Pharr, next president of Mount Mary

See how a creative campus welcomes its next president