Union College of Union College of Union County, NJ President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin Selected for the Aspen Institute’s Presidents Fellowship
Cranford, NJ – The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has announced that Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin, President of Union College of Union County, NJ, has been selected for the inaugural class of the Aspen Presidents Fellowship. This program, made possible with support from JPMorgan Chase, focuses on developing a sustainable and comprehensive reform agenda that advances excellence and equity in student outcomes at scale.
This class of fellows represents the diversity of our nation’s community colleges. They lead institutions across 14 states that collectively educate over 280,000 students in varied settings, from a rural college of 700 students to an urban one with enrollment over 24,000. The incoming class of Presidents Fellows is 56% women and 44% people of color.
Selected through a competitive process, the fellows will, over 12 months, work closely with a faculty of leading community college presidents and senior staff from the Aspen Institute. They will learn about and compare their practices to those of field-leading colleges, analyze their students’ graduation and post-graduation outcomes, and advance their priority reforms aimed at delivering excellent and equitable student outcomes.
Dr. McMenamin became the College’s eighth president in 2010 and is its first female president. Upon her appointment, Dr. McMenamin set forth an aggressive agenda centering on improving student success outcomes. She revitalized student services, strengthened academic advising, partnered with faculty to improve teaching and learning, and engaged the entire campus community in renewing their collective commitment to student success. During her tenure at Union, the College has more than quintupled its graduation rate. In 2019, Dr. McMenamin served as Chair of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Middle States is the regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education performing peer evaluations of over 525 institutions of higher education. In 2020, Dr. McMenamin was named the Marie Y. Martin National CEO of the Year by the Association of Community College Trustees. In 2022, the Aspen Institute for College Excellence named Union as one of only 25 semifinalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
“Scaled improvements in student outcomes at our nation’s community colleges requires excellent leadership,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program. “I am continually inspired and motivated by the dedication and expertise that our fellows bring to the work of advancing excellence and equity on their campuses, and I look forward to supporting them as they improve outcomes for their students.”
JPMorgan Chase’s philanthropic support for the Aspen Presidential Fellowship is part of the firm’s New Skills at Work initiative to prepare young people for the future of work and meet the growing demand for skilled workers, and the $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity and drive an inclusive economy.
“We are incredibly proud of Dr. McMenamin for being selected as an Aspen Presidents Fellow. I have no doubt she will be an asset to this fellowship by offering a wealth of knowledge for the benefit of community colleges across the nation. She has proven to be a dynamic and effective leader while earning the College national recognitions for our student success outcomes,” stated Union’s Board of Trustees Chair Victor M. Richel.
For bios and photos of the extraordinary leaders, visit LINK.
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program supports colleges and universities in their quest to achieve a higher standard of excellence, delivering credentials that unlock life-changing careers and strengthen our economy, society, and democracy. We know it takes visionary college leaders to achieve this higher standard and we make it our mission to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and research-backed tools to inspire change, shift practice, and advance the capacity of colleges to deliver excellent and equitable student outcomes. For more information, visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.
About JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.7 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.
Union College of Union County, New Jersey is a public, comprehensive community college that provides quality, affordable, accessible educational programs to the greater Union County region. It is the first of New Jersey’s 18 two-year colleges, serving both career-minded and transfer-oriented students since 1933. The College offers a wide variety of academic and extracurricular activities. Union provides many experiential learning opportunities such as access to a Bloomberg Business Center, Innovation Center, and Student Research hub. Additionally, students at Union attend one of the top 25 community colleges in the country for 2023 as designated by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. To learn more, visit www.ucc.edu.