Peirce College Inaugurates the First Woman to Serve as President & CEO at 154 Commencement

Jun 27, 2019, 15:59 PM by Amanda Hill


PHILADELPHIA —Peirce College created a little more pomp and circumstance than usual at its 154 th Commencement Ceremony on Tuesday, June 11 by making history.

In addition to honoring the accomplishments of more than 300 graduates at this year’s commencement, the college celebrated the inauguration of Dr. Mary Ellen Caro as the school’s eighth president and CEO, and the first woman to serve in that position.

“We needed a dynamic leader to take the College to new heights,” said Barbara Prutzman, chair of the Peirce College Board of Trustees. ”Dr. Caro checked all the right boxes. In the past year, she has brought about progressive change and redefined our definition of partnerships to expand access and affordability for working adults.”

The ceremony was held at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts in Philadelphia. The inauguration took place during a brief program at start of the ceremony. Dr. Caro told the 2019 graduates that Peirce’s commitment to adult learners was key to her decision to accept the appointment as president and CEO.

“Today, we continue to be vigilant about transforming ourselves to serve you,” she said. “Fundamentally, we recognize that learning happens in and out of a classroom…in the military, in business and through on-the-job training. And we stand committed to help you demonstrate that mastery and craft individualized paths to a degree. That’s why I came to Peirce.”

The keynote address was given by Dr. George A. Pruitt, president emeritus of Thomas Edison State University in New Jersey and board distinguished fellow of the University’s John S. Watson School of Public Service, who was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters (honoris causa). Dr. Pruitt became a national leader in higher education during his 35 years as president of Thomas Edison State University and has served five secretaries of education under three presidents of both parties during his tenure as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity.

More than 200 graduates processed at this year’s commencement, including the largest number of master’s degree graduates in the school’s history.

Jeffrey Alexander, of Doylestown, an education and development executive with WSFS Bank, who earned a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management, served as the student speaker for the 2019 commencement.

“We are extremely proud of Jeff and all of our graduates who came to Peirce for the flexibility needed to advance their education without sacrificing their professional and personal responsibilities,” said Dr. Caro. “I am also honored that Dr. Pruitt could join us this year as our keynote speaker to celebrate the students who inspire us every day.”

About Peirce College

Founded in 1865, Peirce College has been providing working adults with affordable education, flexible classes, and personalized support for more than 150 years. Peirce offers bachelor and associate degree programs in the areas of Business, Healthcare, Information Technology, and Legal Studies, and Master of Science degrees in Healthcare Administration and Organizational Leadership & Management. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, Peirce is a non-profit institution that specializes in serving the unique needs of working adults through both online and on campus education. In 2015, Peirce took life-friendly learning and degree attainment to the next level with the creation of Peirce Fit®, a revolutionary learning format that allows students to choose each week whether to attend class in person or online. Through competency-based education in Peirce’s IT program, students may also choose a faster, more affordable path to a degree. Peirce College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market St. Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). Additionally, select programs are accredited by The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the American Bar Association and the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.

For more information about Peirce College, call 888.467.3472, or visit Visit Peirce’s blog, Peirce Connections, at Become a fan of Peirce College on Facebook. Follow @PeirceCollege on Twitter. View the Peirce College YouTube Channel .


Peirce College
Media Contact:
Amanda Hill
Director, Marketing & Communications
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