Chestnut Hill College inaugurates first lay president

Posted 10/5/23

Chestnut Hill College celebrated the inauguration of its seventh president, William Latimer, as the first lay president in the school’s nearly 99-year history.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Chestnut Hill College inaugurates first lay president


Chestnut Hill College celebrated the inauguration of its seventh president, William Latimer, last week, who is taking the helm as the first lay president in the school’s nearly 99-year history. 

Latimer, who has held professorial and administrative positions at the College of New Rochelle, City University of New York, Lehman College, the University of Florida, Johns Hopkins University, and Mercy College, joined Chestnut Hill College in July 2022.

“Dr. Latimer has the accomplishments in academics, collegiate administration and leadership needed to shepherd Chestnut Hill College into a new era,” said Sallyann M. Bowman M.D. '72, member of the CHC Board of Directors and co-chair of the search committee to select a new president. “We are delighted to welcome Dr. Latimer, and his family, to our CHC community.” 

Since beginning his tenure as President of Chestnut Hill College a year ago, Latimer has increased both student enrollment and retention.

The ceremony featured dignitaries from other colleges as well as local and state officials, including Pennsylvania state Sen. Art Haywood and Pennsylvania state Rep. Tarik Khan. 

Speaking at the event were Michael Mittelman, President of Salus University, representing the Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (SEPCHE), Nancy Blattner, President of Fontbonne University, representing the Association of Colleges of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, and Maureen Erdlen, SSJ, Congregational President of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, who founded Chestnut Hill College in 1924.

“On behalf of the Sisters of St. Joseph, I am very happy to welcome Dr. Latimer as the seventh president of Chestnut Hill College,” Erdlen said. “I am confident that his experience, energy, and enthusiasm will continue our tradition of academic excellence and holistic education for these changing times.”

The week of festivities included the return of a lecture series in which Scottish musical icon Dougie MacLean was celebrated for his contributions to the world of music, as well as an inaugural mass of commitment, a student-led inaugural ball, and Griffin Fest, a celebration of all things Griffin Nation. Throughout the week, Inauguration IPA, a specially-made beer from the Chestnut Hill Brewing Company, was also available at all celebrations and at the restaurant in the Market at the Fareway. 

“Over the years, my professional experience, family, and faith have led me to the conclusion that the care we take of one another provides one fundamental basis for those we care for to go forward into the world and meet others with compassion, civility, and industry,” Latimer said when he addressed those who gathered to celebrate his inauguration. “I can think of no better environment in which to foster this care than Chestnut Hill College. I can think of no legacy that represents true inclusivity, compassion, and service more as the basis of this care than the mission and Charisms of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.” 

Chestnut Hill College offers a rigorous four-year undergraduate curriculum that provides students with a broad background in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. It also includes cybersecurity, exercise science and forensic sciences programs and offers accelerated undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees and a doctoral program. 

For more information visit