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St. John Fisher College President Bain Announces Plans to Retire


St. John Fisher College President Bain Announces Plans to Retire

Dr. Donald Bain, President of St. John Fisher College, has announced his plans to retire from his presidency in 2015. He informed the Board of Trustees and the campus community of his decision earlier today. His retirement will mark an impressive 40-year career with the College.

“It has been my sincere pleasure serving this community for the last 40 years, but in particular, serving as president over the last decade,” said Bain. “I am grateful for the opportunity I was given, humbled by the support I have received, and looking forward to what lies ahead.”

Vic Salerno ’66, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, expressed his gratitude.

“Don’s leadership has been strong and consistent, and his commitment to everyone at the College – from students and their families, to employees and alumni – has been appreciated and will be missed,” said Salerno. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees and as an alum of this great institution, I am most grateful for his dedication and devotion to the College and wish him well in the next chapter of his life.”

Bain became the 6th president of Fisher in 2004 after then president, Dr. Katherine Keough, died in office. He started at Fisher in 1975 as a History professor. As a member of the faculty, he has held the position of assistant, associate, and full professor; History Department chair; Dean of Faculty; Provost and Dean of the College; Vice President for Administration; Acting President; Interim President; and President.

During his tenure as president, he led the College through an academic reorganization, creating autonomous schools, expanding the master’s level programs and international education, and introducing doctoral programs and online education. In addition, he led the successful Vision 2020 capital campaign, which raised over $52 million and funded the creation of the Wegmans School of Pharmacy and Wegmans School of Nursing. The College has also experienced record enrollment and a growing intercollegiate athletics program under Bain’s leadership.

He was awarded a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he also earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. During his undergraduate studies, he was a research assistant at Columbia University. Following his doctoral work, he was awarded an NEH fellowship at Yale University. He went on to receive a graduate certificate in educational management from Harvard University.

Before completing his education, he served in the United States Navy as a member of a combat aircrew. A Vietnam-era veteran, he is a member of Williamson, New York, American Legion Post 394. Committed to public service, Bain belongs to several community organizations and was elected to four terms as a Town Justice in Williamson.

Most recently, Bain became a member of the Board of Trustees for the Center For Governmental Research, and he is a member of the New York State Magistrates Association and currently serves as a member of the board of Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester and the Rochester Business Alliance. In June 2012, Dr. Bain was elected President of the Rochester Area Colleges (RAC) Presidents’ Council.

The Board of Trustees will form a search committee in September 2014, with the expectation that a new president will be in place in summer 2015, when Bain plans to end his presidency.

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