Laurie Hamen appointed Mount Mercy University President

Laurie M. Hamen, J.D., a higher education veteran with nearly 30 years of experience in student affairs, enrollment management, athletics, academics and grant procurement, will be Mount Mercy University’s ninth president.

“Laurie was selected as our next president after a nation-wide search which concluded with her making an official visit to the Mount Mercy campus last month,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Brandt Worley. “Her passion for private liberal arts education and the Mercy Mission was clear and evident to the entire Mount Mercy community, and we are delighted she has accepted the position.”

Hamen is currently vice president for enrollment management, athletics, and student affairs at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, where she has served for the last eighteen years.  She has also taught as an adjunct faculty member since 2012. Prior to her time at North Central College, Hamen’s experience included positions in Catholic higher education at College of St. Benedict, Saint Joseph, Minnesota, and at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, in addition to serving at public institutions.

“I am extremely excited to become Mount Mercy’s next president,” Hamen said. “Mount Mercy University has a long-standing reputation of providing high-quality education in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy, and I am honored to play a part in molding the future of this great institution.”

Hamen holds a Juris Doctorate degree from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. She has completed Ph.D. coursework in educational administration at the University of Minnesota and holds a Master of Science degree from Winona State University. Committed to the value of a Catholic, liberal-arts education, Hamen also holds an undergraduate degree from University of St. Catherine in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

She also played an active role in the New American Colleges and Universities consortium, taught classes in the North Central graduate programs and served on numerous NCAA Division III committees.   

Originally from Minnesota, Hamen and her husband Bill have three children and two grandchildren.    

Hamen was one of three finalists selected following an extensive national search. The search process also included significant involvement from university students, faculty, staff, and alumni in addition to the search committee. “We took very seriously the input from our Mount Mercy family,” added Worley. “Their participation and feedback definitely aided in our decision.”

Hamen was introduced as the next president during a campus event on Friday, December 6, 2013. She will begin her presidency in early 2014. Until Hamen assumes the role of president, Dr. Norm Nielsen will continue to adeptly serve as interim president, a position he left retirement to accept in May 2013.

“I look forward to working with the community, university leaders, students, faculty, staff and alumni to continue building upon Mount Mercy’s academic excellence and institutional success,” said Hamen.

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