Board of Trustees Bestows Emerita Title on Retiring President Mary L. Fifield

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Board of Trustees of Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) has recognized Dr. Mary L. Fifield with the title President Emerita, effective July 1, 2013. Fifield, who assumed leadership of the College in 1997, announced September 24 that she would retire as President on June 30, 2013.

In bestowing the honor, the Board cited the unprecedented growth of the College under Fifield’s leadership.  With an enrollment increase of 117 percent since Fifield took office, BHCC has become the largest community college in Massachusetts and the eighth largest public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth. Fifield presided over the establishment of a second campus in Chelsea and the construction on the Charlestown Campus of a 48,000-square-foot state-of-the-art LEED Gold Certified Health & Wellness Center.

The Board further pointed to the transformation of traditional classroom instruction under Fifield’s guidance with the introduction of learning communities, a major reform which earned BHCC the highest award for excellence in academic programming from the New England Board of Higher Education.  Under Fifield, the College gained national prominence as one of 52 institutions named Leader Colleges by Achieving the Dream, and as one of four colleges awarded the Gates Foundation Achieving the Dream Catalyst Fund grant.  In addition, the College earned recognition from the Association of Community College Trustees as the leading community college among 1,100 nationwide in providing opportunities for people of color and women.

Among the many highlights of Fifield’s career, the Board pointed as an example to the “Learn and Earn” initiative, a collaboration between the College and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, which provides BHCC students paid work experience in high-demand fields at some of Greater Boston’s leading companies. The Board also cited Fifield’s creation of the Emergency Assistance Fund that helps students facing short-term financial crises; the large-scale planning events that bring together hundreds of business, civic and government leaders together with faculty, staff, student leaders, alumni and trustees to establish College goals; and the new degrees in  Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and other emerging fields.

Media Contact:
Karen M. Norton, Executive Director of Integrated Marketing and Communications
Bunker Hill Community College, Boston, MA 02129
Phone: (617) 228-2177; Email: kmnorton@bhcc.mass.edu