Kathy W. Humphrey, Ph.D., inaugurated as11th president of Carlow University



Served in higher education for more than 35 years; was Courier “Woman of Excellence”


On March 25, students, faculty, family and other members of the Carlow University community packed Carnegie Music Hall to welcome Kathy W. Humphrey, Ph.D., as the university’s 11th president. University leadership formally inaugurated Dr. Humphrey before a who’s who of prominent leaders in Western Pennsylvania.

Rich Fitzgerald, County Executive of Allegheny County, the Honorable Ed Gainey, Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pastor Brian Edmonds, Senior Pastor of the Macedonia Church of Pittsburgh and Patrick Gallagher, Ph.D., Chancellor of University of Pittsburgh were in attendance to welcome Dr. Humphrey to the role. Sister Patricia McDermott, RSM, President of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Rabbi Schmuel Weinstein, Director of Chabad House on Campus in Pittsburgh and Most Reverend David A Zubik, DD, Bishop, Diocese of Pittsburgh also attended to provide praise for Dr. Humphrey.

President Humphrey, standing on the shoulders of the Sisters of Mercy, continues to be a champion for students to complete post-secondary and higher education pathways. President Humphrey, who called the inauguration “the crowning point of my 37-year career in higher education,” aims to upend lasting misconceptions about the University.

“Upon my arrival, I would hear folks refer to Carlow as a small university, but there is nothing small about what were are able to accomplish when we answer the call,” said President Humphrey. “For Carlow is a mighty institution with a mighty task to give hope and opportunity to those who otherwise may not have a chance to receive a four-year college education.”


The ceremony welcomed past presidents Dr. Mary Louise Fennell, Dr. Mary Hines and Dr. Susan Mellon, and capped off a week of inauguration festivities, which included lectures, a Catholic Relief Services Helping Hands food-packing event, and a presidential gift ceremony.

At the inauguration, President Humphrey, who was a Pell-eligible college student herself, took time to speak about her goals for the University, which include improving education for women of color in Pittsburgh by reestablishing the Hill College.

“Strengthening all women, especially Black women in Pittsburgh, is a goal that we must share if we are to make progress and change the state of Black Pittsburgh,” she said. “The Hill College provided women who lived in the Hill District of Pittsburgh and other economically challenged areas an opportunity to have easy access to a college degree in a place and space where people like them were transforming their lives together.”

President Humphrey’s tenure in the President’s Office began in the summer of 2021.

As previously reported in the New Pittsburgh Courier, Dr. Humphrey is a past recipient of the Courier’s “Women of Excellence” award; the YWCA Tribute to Women Leadership Award; the Martin Luther King Jr. Creating A Just Community award; 2020 NABHI’s Lifetime Achievement Award; Chuck Cooper Foundation Leadership Award; 2018 Gwen’s Girls Equity Summit Honoree; 2016 Nellie Leadership Award; and the 2019 Onyx Woman Leadership Award for her contribution to the community and support of other women. She also earned the Pitt African American Alumni Council’s Sankofa Award, which honors community members who have offered outstanding education support to students.

Dr. Humphrey has an award named after her. The International Student Federation of Saint Louis University named the organization’s diversity award the “Kathy W. Humphrey Award for Diversity.” Dr. Humphrey served in many senior positions at Saint Louis University, including Vice President of Student Development and Associate Vice Provost and Director of Housing and Student Life.

Dr. Humphrey earned a Bachelor of Science at the University of Central Missouri, a Master of Arts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a doctorate in educational leadership at Saint Louis University. Dr. Humphrey has also held positions at the University of Central Missouri and the University of Missouri.

Dr. Humphrey is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and Macedonia Church of Pittsburgh, in the Hill District.


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