press releases

Sturnick To Step Down As President Of Montserrat College Of Art

Beverly, MA March 30, 2009 -

The Montserrat College of Art Board of Trustees announced today that Dr. Helena Judith Sturnick, the College’s Interim President, would not be extending her contract which ends in June of 2009. Dr. Sturnick has agreed, however, to stay on with the College through December of 2009 pending the naming of a new permanent President. Executive search firm Spelman and Johnson of Easthampton, MA, will conduct the search.

In a note to the college community Sturnick explained that she is proud of the work completed by the faculty, staff and students and that “many solid accomplishments have been completed during those two years.” She concludes, however, that “now it’s time for new leadership to move the College forward, and the Executive Committee of the Board will be putting a search process in place.”  She added, “I leave here with immense love for the campus and with the deepest respect for each of you.  Working with you has been an inspiration, a joy and a deep pleasure.  You are such extraordinary human beings, so filled with creativity, vision and dedication to this lovely College.“

Dr. Sturnick’s presidency began on June 25, 2007. At that time she was nominated by a committee of staff, faculty and Trustees, which felt strongly that she had the perfect combination of experience and enthusiasm to lead Montserrat College of Art. In addition to receiving strong support from the search committee, members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff alike also resoundingly supported the appointment of Dr. Sturnick following on-campus meetings with her. The committee felt strongly that she had the impressive combination of experience and enthusiasm to lead the College forward through challenging months and that her management style seemed to be one that  fit well with the Montserrat community.

During her tenure, the college was named to The Boston Globe Top 100 Places to Work, Dr. Sturnick was named to The Salem News Top 100 Leaders magazine, the college undertook it’s first-ever capital campaign and built its first new building, the Student Residence Village, reducing the college’s reliance on rental properties, and enrollment has increased for the past two years. She was also asked this spring to write an article for a national education publication about the turn-around at the college. Dr. Sturnick also helped the college launch its new vision: to be recognized as the premier independent small art college within five years.

Trustee Chairman Hilly Ebling expressed his gratitude for the accomplishments of President Sturnick, enrollment, fundraising and construction of the student residence village which will open next fall, and the stability and pride and excitement she has brought to the college during her leadership. “We are all extremely grateful to Helena for her hard work, vision and great things she has done for MCA. Helena has accomplished wonderful things at the College and I am confident that our focus and effort in this transition will insure continuation of her vision of Montserrat as the premier independent small college of art in America.”

Montserrat College of Art is an accredited, private, residential college of art and design offering the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, art education certification and year-round classes and workshops for adults through its Continuing Studies programs.  Gallery programs and lectures are free, open to the public.  Visit us at
The vision of Montserrat College of Art is to be recognized as the nation’s premier independent, small art college.


Jo Broderick
Dean of College Relations
978.921.4242 x 1113