PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Saint Joseph's University welcomed the university's first female president in the school's history on Friday.
The university's Board of Trustees announced that it elected Cheryl McConnell, Ph.D., as its 29th president.
Dr. McConnell is making history as the university's first woman president in it's 172-year history.
According to the university's press release, Dr. McConnell's position became effective immeditely. She is a 35-year veteran of Jesuit higher education, having most recently served as St. Joseph's interim president since last June, and as a provost and chief academic officer for three years prior.
"Dr. McConnell is the right person to lead Saint Joseph's at this time of exceptional change," said James M. Norris, chair of the University's Board of Trustees and also chair of the search committee. "Cheryl has strong business acumen, deep higher education experience, a career marked by dedicated commitment to our Jesuit mission and exceptional leadership skills."
Dr. McConnell has been at the university since 2019.
Among her most notable accomplishments in that time, officials said she played an essential role in the school's COVID-19 response.
Most recently, she led the historic acquisition of the University of the Sciences.
"I look forward to working with President McConnell as she leads our Catholic, Jesuit University into its next chapters of teaching excellence, scholarship and service to the Philadelphia community, our nation and larger world," said Joseph M. O'Keefe, S.J., provincial of the Society of Jesus' USA East Province.