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St. Vincent College chooses Benedictine monk mathematician as new president
Br. Norman W. Hipps, the new president of St. Vincent College.
Br. Norman W. Hipps, the new president of St. Vincent College.

.- St. Vincent College of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the United States’ oldest Benedictine college, has announced it has chosen as its next president Br. Norman W. Hipps, OSB, a mathematics professor and administrator.

Br. Norman, a Benedictine monk, is presently the college’s executive vice president and dean of the Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing, the college reported in a press release.

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as President of Saint Vincent College and I formally accept this appointment with gratitude and humility,” Br. Norman said at a news conference.

He said that for more than 160 years the college has served students by offering an education that prepares students to make a living and also prepares them “how to live.”

“This philosophy of education combines the basics necessary for success in a profession with the creative, life-affirming values of the Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts tradition. We will continue to build on our strong academic programs, as well as our community that makes it possible for us to grow in learning and in love.”

Br. Norman thanked outgoing President Jim Towey for his leadership and said they would work together during the transition.

The monk also thanked his fellow Benedictine brothers, alumni and benefactors for their support.

Towey said he was excited for Br. Norman and the college.

“Br. Norman has been a big part of Saint Vincent College’s success and it is fitting that his decades of leadership on this campus culminate in this appointment,” he commented.

Archabbot Douglas of the St. Vincent Benedictines explained that after a review of candidates it was decided a “superior candidate” was available within the community. He said Br. Norman will pursue the college’s mission with an emphasis on enhancing its financial resources and academic reputation.

J. Christopher Donahue, chair of the college’s board of directors, praised as “unparalleled” Br. Norman’s leadership and administrative skills, his love for the college and his ability to win supporters.

“Furthermore, his endless patience, his wisdom, outstanding educational background and experience, and his demonstrated commitment to community service and to the values and teachings of the Catholic tradition, bring together in one unique individual all of the qualities needed to take Saint Vincent College confidently into the future,” Donohue commented.

Br. Norman professed simple vows with the St. Vincent Benedictines in 1963 and made his solemn vows in 1966. He has served on the faculty of St. Vincent’s College since 1972 and has filled many administrative roles.

His community outreach includes work in small business programs, drug and alcohol abuse prevention projects, and science and math education efforts.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from St. Vincent College in 1966, he pursued graduate studies in theology at St. Vincent Seminary. At Northwestern University he earned a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics in 1972 and a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1976.

Br. Norman is a member of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America.

The most recent two presidents of St. Vincent’s College have been laity. With Br. Norman, the college returns to having a president who is a member of the Benedictine Order.


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