New President Announcement

Wilson College Announces 19th President  

March 1, 2011

Dear Members of the Wilson College Community,

It is my great pleasure to announce that the Wilson College Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the appointment of Barbara K. Mistick as the 19th president in the College's 142-year history. Dr. Mistick will begin her term as Wilson’s next president on July 1, 2011.

As the search process began late last summer, we assembled a remarkable committee of current and former trustees, faculty, students, alumnae, and staff with a full range of perspectives on the College community, but who came together to focus on the singular goal of selecting a president who could lead Wilson as a collegial, intellectual community and as a vibrant college in the liberal arts tradition. We have certainly been successful in finding such a person with the skills to meet that challenge in Dr. Barbara Mistick.

As you come to know Barbara, you will learn of her deep interest in higher education for women and the undergraduate liberal arts experience. A proud alumna of Carlow College, Dr. Mistick embodies Wilson’s core values of ethical leadership and social responsibility. Throughout her academic and professional career and extensive community involvement, she has demonstrated a commitment to women's education, civic engagement, philanthropy and volunteerism.

Over the course of her 30-year career, Barbara has been an entrepreneur, educator and leader at institutions such as the H.J. Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, the National Education Center for Women in Business at Seton Hill University in Greensburg and at various businesses she managed and/or founded.

In her current role, Dr. Mistick provides strategic leadership and operational oversight of the library system in Pittsburgh, which serves approximately 1.2 million people and includes 19 neighborhood library locations and a number of other facilities.

Barbara earned a doctorate in management from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Business in 2003; a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business in 1992; and as mentioned earlier, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Carlow College in 1990.

In conversations with the search committee and the campus constituencies, Dr. Mistick articulated a vision for the future of a liberal arts education at a time when all of higher education is going through a period of reflection and readjustment. In particular, based on her knowledge of Wilson’s mission and strategic direction, Barbara conveyed to the search committee confidence in the College’s ability to thrive in an ever more global, diverse, and interconnected world.  We are certain that Dr. Mistick will build on Wilson’s many strengths and will engage our community in exciting new efforts to ensure our students are prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Installation of a new president is an important moment for any college and I am grateful to the Presidential Search Committee, supported by our search counsel, Archer-Martin Associates, and chaired by John Gibb for the hundreds of hours spent on this search.

We are especially grateful to our communications team, led by committee member Paula Tishok ’71 with the thoughtful and helpful support from Wilson’s communications staff, Debra Collins and Cathy Mentzer.  Their efforts facilitated the search committee’s work in many ways from fashioning the innovative Presidential Search web site, to assembling exciting and informative new content, to getting the word out to the campus community and beyond.  Thank you!

I must give a special thank you to Carole Gallagher and Rene Parson for staffing the search committee and for their good guidance and formidable work on behalf of the College. 

I would also like to express thanks to current President Lorna Edmundson for her legacy of success over the last 10 years, laying the foundation for building a strong future for the College. We look forward to working with her to prepare for a smooth transition in the months ahead.

And, finally, I must thank all of you –the support and enthusiasm from the entire Wilson College community has been inspiring!  Even though I knew it already – the campus visits in late January gave me a heart warming and hopeful glimpse of the talent, professionalism, energy, and, most of all, love of Wilson College that is here – this is truly a campus poised and ready for an exciting future! 

On behalf of the Wilson College Board of Trustees please join me in celebrating the appointment of our next president, Barbara K. Mistick. We are eager to work with all of you to create an even brighter future for Wilson and the students we educate.


Trudi W. Blair ’76
Chair, Wilson College Board of Trustees