Kathleen Murray, the provost and dean of faculty at Minnesota’s Macalester College and a noted pianist, will become Whitman College’s 14th president and its first woman president.
Murray, who has recorded on the CRI record label and performed in numerous solo piano recitals across the Midwest, will succeed current President George Bridges when he steps down in June of next year, the Walla Walla private college’s board of trustees announced Thursday.
Murray joined Macalester, a 2,000-student liberal arts school in St. Paul, Minn., in July 2008, and she served as acting president when President Brian Rosenberg went on sabbatical in 2013.
In her first faculty position at Lawrence University she served as department chair, and later as dean of the Conservatory of Music and then dean of faculty. She was provost and vice-president for academic affairs at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama, as well as a professor of music, from 2005 to 2008.
Murray earned her bachelor’s degree in music from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1979, her master of music in piano performance from Bowling Green State University in 1982, and her doctor of music in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University in 1989. She was an accompanist at the Prague Spring International Music Festival, and has also performed on Wisconsin Public Radio.
Here is a video of Murray discussing her background and her plans for Whitman: