April 3, 2014 — Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., has made history with the appointment of Dr. Linda M. LeMura as its next president, making her the first lay female to serve as president of a Jesuit college or university in the world.
“I am thrilled to announce the selection of Dr. Linda LeMura as president of Le Moyne College,” said Board Chair Sharon Kinsman Salmon. “Linda possesses superb leadership skills, a deep understanding of Jesuit ideals, and an appreciation for the many challenges facing higher education today. Her work as provost and dean have provided her with an institutional knowledge that is without equal.”
LeMura has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Le Moyne since 2007 — only the second person in that role in the college’s history — and before that was the dean of arts and sciences at the college, from 2003 to 2007. Prior to that, she held a series of positions of increasing responsibility at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania.
“I wish to express my gratitude to the members of the Board of Trustees for the faith they have extended to me, and to offer my thanks to the many colleagues and friends for their well wishes and support at this time — it is truly humbling,” said LeMura. “Since arriving on the Heights, I have witnessed up close how truly transformational a Le Moyne education can be. … We are committed to providing young men and women with access to an outstanding, rigorous education steeped in Ignatian and Jesuit values so that they might become successful graduates in every sense — personally and professionally. … I am honored by this selection and am proud to be a member of this community.”
LeMura will become the 14th president in Le Moyne College’s nearly 70-year history, succeeding Dr. Fred Pestello, who announced last month that he will be leaving the college on June 30, 2014, to become president at Saint Louis University.
In becoming the first lay female leader at a Jesuit institution in the world, LeMura builds on Le Moyne’s groundbreaking history; when it was founded in 1946, it was the first Jesuit college or university to open as a co-educational institution.
“Linda LeMura is particularly esteemed within Jesuit higher education circles. Last October, Rev. Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, gave a major address to the board chairs and presidents of the 28 U.S. Jesuit colleges and universities. Dr. LeMura was part of a small group selected to go to Rome in advance of the meeting to brief him on U.S. Jesuit higher education. Based on her familiarity with the mission and identity of Jesuit institutions, she comes to the Le Moyne presidency very well prepared,” said Jesuit Father Michael Sheeran, president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
A Syracuse native, LeMura received a B.S. in biology and education from Niagara University, and an M.S. and Ph.D., both in applied physiology, from Syracuse University. Prior to Le Moyne, from 1992 to 2003 she served in several roles at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, including professor, graduate program director, chairperson and assistant chairperson in the departments of exercise science and biology and allied health sciences. From 1994 to 1995 she was Interim Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, and from 1992 to 1994 she was associate professor, both at Bloomsburg.
Extensively published, LeMura’s field of research and expertise is pediatric obesity, pediatric applied physiology, lipid metabolism and energy metabolism.
LeMura is married to Dr. Lawrence Tanner, professor of natural systems science at Le Moyne. The couple has one daughter, Emily, who is a sophomore at Fordham University. [Source: Le Moyne College]