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The installation of a new president and vice-chancellor is an important occasion that provides universities with the opportunity to recognize past achievements and look forward to the future. On Friday, October 28, St. Mary’s University hosts the installation ceremony for new President and Vice-Chancellor Sinda Vanderpool, who began her term on  July. 1, 2022.

An occasion grounded in university tradition

It has been more than a decade since the last installation ceremony at St. Mary’s University when former President Dr. Gerry Turcotte took office. The installation ceremony involves the incoming president and vice-chancellor taking the Oath of Office from Alberta’s lieutenant-governor. Following the Oath, the chair of the St. Mary’s University Board of Governors asks the chancellor to officially install the new president and vice-chancellor. Installation ceremony traditions include the presentation of the presidential robes; official greetings from community, provincial and national leaders; the display of academic regalia; and the presentation of various ceremonial objects, including the university mace.

About the new president and vice-chancellor

Dr. Sinda Vanderpool joins St. Mary’s University having most recently served as the Associate Vice Provost for Academic Enrolment Management at Baylor University, a national Christian research university in Central Texas. During her tenure at Baylor University, Dr. Vanderpool held various leadership roles with increasing levels of responsibilities over the span of 18 years.

Dr. Vanderpool began as a French professor at Baylor and went on to spend two years in administration where she established the professional advisement team for the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and finally assumed the role of Associate Vice Provost for enrollment management. Over the years, Dr. Vanderpool worked collaboratively with the deans of the nine academic colleges and schools across Baylor to enhance enrollment strategy and processes. Under her tenure, the population of undergraduate students increased by 2,100 students while the academic quality, ethnic diversity, and geographical diversity of the undergraduate population all increased simultaneously.

Tirelessly passionate about standing for what is possible in the lives of students, Dr. Vanderpool has studied underrepresented students coming to college, always curious about how to create cultures and spaces that help all students flourish. She gained the title chief student success officer at Baylor University in 2012 when she began providing leadership directly to a team of professional staff, faculty, and peer mentors all aimed at helping students throughout their college experience. The hub of these activities, the success center, incorporates the first-year experience, disabilities services, and academic advisement in addition to robust academic support initiatives. During the ten years when she served in this role, Dr. Vanderpool built—from the ground up—support services for student veterans, pre-law students, first generation college students, minority students, and low-income students where none had existed previously.

Dr. Vanderpool fell in love with liberal arts learning, and French language & literature in particular, when she attended Davidson College in North Carolina as an undergraduate student. She spent her junior year enrolled as a visiting student at the Faculty des Lettres in Montpellier, France. After earning her bachelor’s degree in French from Davidson, she attended Princeton University in New Jersey where she focused on 16th Century French poetry through the lens of female identity, completing her PhD in 2005.

While Dr. Vanderpool had been consistently interested in questions of faith in her formative years, it was during her time at Princeton that she immersed herself more fully in the Catholic intellectual and spiritual tradition and felt an invitation to grow deeper faith roots by becoming a Roman Catholic (2006).

Attend the installation of Dr. Sinda Vanderpool

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, community supporters and the general public are welcome to attend the installation of Dr. Sinda Vanderpool as the fourth president and vice-chancellor of St. Mary’s University on Friday, October 28, at 3 p.m. at the St. Albert the Great Parish. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony. To register for the event:

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