News Feature

Visionary Set to Lead

Dr. Mary K. Grant to oversee civics and social justice initiatives

Bridgewater State University is committed to social justice and civics education. To continue and enhance that critical work, BSU is tapping an experienced and visionary higher education leader.

Dr. Mary K. Grant will become Bridgewater’s first senior administrative fellow for civics and social justice.

“It is a remarkable opportunity to bring someone of her caliber and experience to lead our social justice and civics education initiatives at BSU and the university’s community engagement in those areas,” said President Frederick W. Clark Jr., ’83, and Dr. Karim Ismaili, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Throughout her career, Mary has provided dynamic leadership, drove innovation, initiated major new programs and secured substantial resources that have moved her institutions forward. We anticipate her providing the same leadership in making Bridgewater State University a national leader in advancing social justice and expanding civics education and engagement.”

Grant has served as president and CEO of The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate since Jan. 2018 and is a senior fellow at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Public Policy at UMass Boston. She was chancellor of the University of North Carolina Asheville from Jan. 2015 to Dec. 2017 and was president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts from 2002-2014.

In her new role, Grant will work with faculty to develop civics education programs to enhance and expand civics curriculum in K-12 public schools and provide opportunities for civil discourse in the community. She will also lead BSU’s Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice, which is named for a victim of the Boston Marathon bombings.

“We know and have worked with Mary,” said Bill and Denise Richard, Martin’s parents. “This is an extraordinary hire. Mary is a dynamic and highly respected leader in Boston, throughout Massachusetts and across the country. We look forward to working with her in the years to come as we take the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice to the next level.” 

Grant, who plans to start at BSU in January, will be a mentor and coach for aspiring women leaders on this campus

She said she is excited “by the opportunity to continue to work on issues of equity, social justice and civic engagement that have been at the core of my professional career. I have admired for years the extraordinary work Bridgewater State University is doing in these areas and am honored to lead the institute named in Martin’s honor. I look forward to joining with faculty, staff and other stakeholders in building upon what has already been accomplished.”

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