Alumna Named Macalester Provost
Kathleen M. Murray
ST. PAUL, MINN. (Macalester College) -- Kathleen M. Murray, an Illinois Wesleyan graduate
and the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Birmingham-Southern College,
a professor of music and an accomplished pianist, has been named provost at Macalester
She will assume her new duties on July 1, 2008.
“I’m absolutely delighted that Kathy Murray will be joining us at Macalester,” said
President Brian Rosenberg. “She is a skilled and experienced academic leader with
a deep understanding of the culture of the liberal arts college and a strong commitment
to our institutional values. Her expertise in the fine arts will also serve us very
well as we move forward with the major renovation of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts complex.”
Murray has been at Birmingham-Southern, in Birmingham, Alabama, since 2005. Before
that, she was dean of the faculty and a music professor at Lawrence University from
2003-2005 and dean of the Lawrence Conservatory and music professor from 1999 to 2004.
She was an associate professor of music and Piano Department chair at Lawrence from
1992 to 1999 and an assistant professor from 1986 to 1992.
"The Search Committee faced difficult choices among an impressive array of very talented
and capable applicants,” said Professor Jane Rhodes, chair of American Studies, dean
for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and a member of the Search Committee. “Macalester's
faculty, staff and students all played an important role in our recommendation. When
all was said and done, Kathleen Murray stood out as a great choice for our next Provost.
Kathleen Murray will be a terrific asset for Macalester--she will bring with her tremendous
liberal arts experience and a history of getting the job done. We are lucky to have
After receiving her Bachelor of Music degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in
1979, Murray received her Master of Music in piano performance from Bowling Green
State University in 1982 and her Doctor of Music in piano performance and pedagogy
from Northwestern in 1989. Her doctoral thesis was entitled “A Study of Aaron Copland’s
She is the author of numerous articles on music and music education. She also has
performed with the Lawrence University New Music Ensemble and on Wisconsin Public
Radio, recorded on the CRI label, has given numerous recitals and has accompanied
Cynthia Loebl at the Prague Spring International Music Festival.
In her letter to the search committee, Murray wrote that “as a performing artist I
have developed creative problem solving and collaborative teamwork skills which have
served me well as an educator and an administrator… As a graduate of a liberal arts
college, an educational institution that valued my ability to think, write, and speak
as much as my work at the piano, I am a passionate proponent of the liberal arts and
sciences. I firmly believe that my undergraduate years in that special setting formed
me as an artist and scholar and laid the foundation on which I have built my career.”
Murray succeeds Diane Michelfelder, who will return to the Philosophy Department after
a sabbatical leave.
Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time
enrollment of 1,889 students.