ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Maria College announced Thursday that its new president will be Lynn Ortale, Ph.D. The Board of Trustees said that she will begin as president on July 1. She will be the college’s sixth president.

Dr. Ortale joined the school with more than three decades of experience in higher education administration. For the past 13 years, she served as Vice President for Student Life at Chestnut Hill College in Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph. She also was an adjunct faculty member in DeSales University’s higher education administration graduate program.

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected by the Board of Trustees as the next president of Maria College,” said President-elect Ortale. “I am committed to Catholic education due to the transformative impact mission-grounded learning communities have on the personal and academic development of students and the impact the commitment to serving the underserved has on our students, our community, and our world. Together we move forward with great excitement to engage in Maria’s next chapter of excellence and innovation.”   

The Maria College Board of Trustees and selection committee worked with consulting firm Academic Search to hire Dr. Ortale after a nationwide search. The committee spoke with faculty, students and staff to figure out what skills and traits should be included in the search for the College’s next leader. Dr. Ortale was chosen from three finalists.

Dr. Ortale will replace outgoing president Dr. Thomas Gamble, who will retire. Dr. Gamble led the college for the last six years. The college will continue to move forward with its campus master plan and strategic compass which the board approved during his time at Maria.

In addition to her administrative and teaching experience, Dr. Ortale is an active and national professional speaker. She has delivered more than 60 presentations to various national associations on myriad topics such as student suicide prevention, leadership development, neurodiversity and learning differences. She is also an accreditation evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), a role that brought her to Maria College’s campus back in 2019.

Maria College was founded in 1958. The Catholic college is private and co-educational and is one of 17 colleges and universities in the United States sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. It serves about 800 students in a variety of bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, a master’s degree, and certificate programs including liberal arts, healthcare management, nursing, psychology, occupational therapy, and health and occupational sciences.