CHICOPEE — Harry Dumay, who boasts a long and distinguished career in higher education, officially took the helm of Elms College as its 11th president on July 1.
“I am excited to start my presidency at Elms College,” Dumay said. “The board of trustees has put together a fantastic transition team, which has been working diligently during the past few months to make it possible for me to hit the ground running. I am eager to partner with the faculty, the staff, and the student body as we advance the work of making an excellent Catholic higher education accessible to a diversity of groups in a diversity of formats.”
Dumay was chosen after a nationwide search and has served in higher education finance and administration at senior and executive levels for 19 years. He holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Boston College, an MBA from Boston University, and a master’s degree in public administration from Framingham State University.
“Dr. Dumay is a multi-faceted leader who understands Elms College and the importance of a liberal-arts education based in the Catholic intellectual tradition,” said Cynthia Lyons, chair of the board of trustees. “He has a collaborative style and a demonstrated record of strengthening organizational and academic effectiveness, and he is enthusiastic about the future of Elms College.”
Dumay, who hails from Ouanaminthe, Haiti, most recently resided with his family in Framingham and worked as the senior vice president and chief financial officer at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Before that, he served as chief financial officer and associate dean at Harvard University’s Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, associate dean at Boston College’s Graduate School of Social Work, and director of finance for Boston University’s School of Engineering. Dumay also served as an adjunct faculty member at Boston College for nine years.
“Dr. Dumay strongly believes education is the best tool to lift people out of poverty, to encourage positive discourse, and to create pathways to successful employment, while also supporting opportunities for strengthening ethical and spiritual development. This vision fits perfectly with the mission of Elms College,” Lyons said.
Elms College’s most important goal is the success of its students, she added. “The value of a liberal-arts education, combined with career skills and a strong sense of the Elms’ values of faith, justice, community, and mission, is a defining strategy for our students now and in the future.”
Sr. Maxyne Schneider, president of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph and a member of the presidential search committee and board of trustees, noted that, “since its founding by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1928, the College of Our Lady of the Elms has served those for whom Catholic higher education would be essential to a life rich in faith, learning, and economic opportunity. Dr. Dumay brings the professional and lived personal experience to continue this mission. We sense in him a spirit truly compatible with the charisma of our sisters, and will support him in his leadership with our prayer and good will.”
Dumay’s inauguration will be held in the fall. The trustees are planning additional autumn events that will allow everyone to meet the new president. He succeeds Mary Reap, who retired June 30 after serving as Elms president for the past eight years.
“Elms College is a special community, in which the Sisters of St. Joseph’s spirit of Catholic solidarity pervades the campus,” Dumay said. “I am honored and excited to lead Elms College as, together, we write the next chapter in the institution’s history.”