Lourdes President Announces Retirement
Provost Terry M. Keller, Ph.D., Appointed Interim President
The Lourdes University Board of Trustees and the Sisters of St. Francis leadership announce the retirement of President Mary Ann Gawelek, Ed.D. Dr. Gawelek began her term in July 2016. An innovative visionary, she has made a tremendous impact on the institution. Her last day will be September 30, 2022. “Dr. Gawelek has been instrumental in Lourdes’ growth and did an excellent job leading the University during the pandemic,” offers Board Chair William J. Carroll.
The Lourdes Board of Trustees has appointed Provost Terry M. Keller, Ph.D., as Interim President. “We look forward to working with Dr. Keller and continuing to provide an excellent education for Lourdes students,” adds Mr. Carroll. “An executive search firm will be hired with an extensive presidential search to follow. The search will be open and we invite all qualified candidates to apply.”
Mary Ann Gawelek, Ed.D.
Under President Mary Ann Gawelek’s leadership (July 2016 – September 2022), Lourdes University established its first ever doctoral program (Online Doctor of Nursing Practice) and now offers many students the opportunity to complete their degrees in the modality that best fits their lives whether in the traditional classroom experience or online.
During her tenure, the University achieved its 10-year accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, gained approval to offer online degree programs, and received accreditation to transition its Nurse Anesthesia Master of Science in Nursing program to a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Academic programs created during Dr. Gawelek’s term include Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science, Craft Beverages and Exercise Science
“The Sisters of St. Francis thank Dr. Mary Ann Gawelek for her student-focused service as President of Lourdes University and we wish her the best on a well-deserved retirement,” notes Sr. Nancy Linenkugel, OSF, Congregational Minister.
Terry M. Keller, Ph.D., Interim President
Terry M. Keller, Ph.D., first came to Lourdes as Assistant Professor of Social Work and has served in increasing leadership roles including Dean of the College of Social Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs and his most recent position Provost. In his Cabinet level roles, Dr. Keller has been responsible for leading the overall direction and management of academic programs. His accomplishments include designing, implementing and successfully managing the university’s Ireland study abroad program. He was also instrumental in establishing the Bachelor of Science in Craft Beverages program, the first of its kind in the U.S. In addition to his Lourdes duties, Dr. Keller was recently elected University Director of the Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs for a 3-year term (October 2022 – October 2025).
Prior to joining the Lourdes community, Dr. Keller taught classes at Michigan State University, Wayne State University and Aquinas College. He earned a Ph.D. in Social Work from Michigan State University, a Master in Business Administration degree from Webster University, a Master in Social Work from Saint Louis University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Communication from Aquinas College.
“The Sisters of St. Francis appreciate the generous response of Dr. Terry Keller, current Provost, to become Interim President of Lourdes University. The Sisters experience Dr. Keller as a mission-centric person who already knows Lourdes faculty, staff, students, and programs. We applaud that an insider of Lourdes is being tapped for this important Franciscan leadership role and we offer our prayerful support,” adds Sr. Nancy Linenkugel.