Biography

Mary E. Lyons, PhD

President

PhD, University of California, Berkeley, Rhetoric
MA, San Jose State University, CA, English
BA, Sonoma State University, English

Mary E. Lyons, Ph.D. became the president of the University of San Diego in July 2003. During her extensive career in education, Dr. Lyons has enjoyed rich and varied experiences as a teacher, professor, and administrator. Before her present appointment, Dr. Lyons served as the president of the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Prior to this, she served as the president of the California Maritime Academy, a campus of the California State University in Vallejo, California. With this appointment, she was commissioned as a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Maritime Service. Previously, she was the Academic Dean and Professor of Rhetoric and Homiletics at the Franciscan School of Theology, Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley, California.

A fifth generation Californian, Dr. Lyons spent her childhood traveling with her military family, living throughout the United States and in Eritrea, Africa. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University; her Master of Arts degree in English from San Jose State University, and her Ph.D. in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley. During her twenty-five year career as a U.S. Naval Reserve Officer, she held a variety of assignments, including an active duty position teaching at the Naval Training Center in San Diego and two appointments as Commanding Officer of Naval Reserve units. She retired in 1996 as a Captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Dr. Lyons has been recognized for leadership and service by numerous associations, including the Educator Distinguished Service Award from the National Defense Transportation Association, the University of San Francisco Medallion for scholarly achievement and community service, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Sonoma State University, and the recipient of a Doctorate of Humane Letters from The College of New Rochelle.

Her publications and presentations touch on a variety of topics, drawing upon her expertise as a Rhetorician, an educator, and a community leader.

Among her current Board appointments are: American Council on Education, Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, Council of Presidents for the Association of Governing Boards, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, St. Joseph Health System, the San Diego Opera, University Club, Board of Governors, The Washington Center Presidents’ Council, West Coast Conference Presidents’ Council and Governor’s Council on California’s Military Future.

Recent Employment

President 2003 to Present
UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO SAN DIEGO, CA
   
President 1996-2003
COLLEGE OF SAINT BENEDICT ST. JOSEPH, MN
   
President 1990-1996
CALIFORNIA MARITIME ACADEMY VALLEJO, CA
   
Academic Dean and Professor of Rhetoric and Homiletics
Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Homiletics
Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Homiletics
1984-1990
FRANCISCAN SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY BERKELEY, CA

Contact

Mary E. Lyons, PhD

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