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Urgo named president of St. Mary's College

Trustees of St. Mary's College of Maryland on Monday named Joseph R. Urgo as president, effective July 1.

Urgo is vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, a prestigious liberal arts school.


His selection to the St. Mary's presidency came with "a palpable sense of excitement and celebration," said Molly Mahoney, chairman of the search committee and college trustee, in a statement.

Urgo is an English professor and has continued to teach American literature while serving as an administrator at Hamilton.

"I am drawn to SMCM because of its liberal arts tradition, its reputation for rigorous undergraduate research, and its strong sense of community," Urgo said in a release. "More importantly, SMCM has one of the finest faculties in the country. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with such a talented and committed group of teacher-scholars and creative artists."

Urgo has a bachelor's from Haverford College, a master's from Wesleyan University and another master's and doctorate from Brown.

He previously worked at the University of Mississippi and Bryant College.

Urgo's research focuses on William Faulkner and Willa Cather. He has published five books, including a tome titled "Faulkner's Apocrypha: A Fable."

St. Mary's is a public four-year institution designated as Maryland's state honors college and is ranked among the top liberal arts schools. It serves more than 2,000 students and has the highest graduation among Maryland public colleges. I noted in a recent post that it's the fifth most popular college among applicants coming from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda.

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By Daniel de Vise  |  February 23, 2010; 9:47 AM ET
Categories:  Administration , Publics , Rankings  | Tags: Joseph R. Urgo, St. Mary's College of Maryland, college administration  
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