The Goldey-Beacom College board of trustees announced Colleen Perry Keith as its 14th president and first female leader in the institution’s 133-year-old history.

Keith will assume her role July 1.

Keith has served as president at Pfeiffer University in North Carolina since 2015 and previously served as president of Spartanburg Methodist College from 2009-15. Under her leadership, Pfeiffer increased enrollment, created the Office of Digital Transformation and Technology, launched two graduate health science programs and moved the University from NCAA Division II to Division III athletics. With her strength in financial management, Keith led the institution to substantial debt reduction and received remarkable support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for capital projects and debt refinancing.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Keith to the greater College community,” said Mark Olazagasti, chairman of the board of trustees. “With more than 30 years’ experience in higher education, we believe she will be an extraordinary leader for the college. As we embark on a major campus expansion by 2020 with a new residence hall, this is perfect timing.”

Keith holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the State University of New York, University Center at Binghamton; a Master of Education in education counseling from the University of Pittsburgh; and a Doctorate of Philosophy in higher education administration and student affairs from the Ohio State University.

Keith will succeed retiring President Gary L. Wirt, who will officially turn over the reins on June 30. With a 45-year stellar career at Goldey-Beacom College, Wirt has served as a dean, vice president and president.

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