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President Tim Trainor Named 2024 Commencement Speaker

Donna Klinger

Tim Trainor

Mount St. Mary’s University President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D., will deliver the commencement address at the 216th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 11. One year ago, Trainor announced his retirement from the Mount, as of June 30, 2024. The university community recommended, and the Board of Trustees affirmed, honoring President Trainor by inviting him to give the address at his last commencement.

“I am honored to send the Class of 2024, adult undergraduate students and graduate students on the way to a life of significance in service to God and others,” Trainor said. “The Class of 2024 came to the Mount after an unsettled senior year of high school and had to adjust to a hybrid learning environment and fewer face-to-face extracurricular activities than usual once they arrived on campus. They have come a long way since then, and I am proud of their accomplishments. I am looking forward to joining the graduates, as well as their families and friends, in commemorating this joyous day.”

Since August 2016, President Trainor expertly guided the university through two destabilizing periods: the leadership crisis that brought him to the Mount and the pandemic. While many colleges and universities experienced turmoil during the pandemic, the Mount retained its entire workforce throughout the period and had its largest first-year class ever in the fall of 2020. Undergraduate and graduate enrollment grew by 12% since 2016.

Other major accomplishments under President Trainor’s leadership include:

  • Addition of new undergraduate majors, such as data science, philosophy, politics and economics (PPE), entrepreneurship, cybersecurity and neuroscience, and graduate programs, such as applied behavior analysis.
  • Expansion of NCAA Division I athletic teams from 16 to 24 and a near doubling of the number of student-athletes. In addition, the university moved to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, resulting in greater competition and exposure for athletes and coaches and experiential learning opportunities for students through ESPN Broadcasting.
  • Investment in the university’s living and learning facilities and campus infrastructure by raising $80 million from donors, government and foundation grants and other benefactors. Projects have included the expansion and renovation of Knott Academic Center, renovation of the Tower apartment buildings, seminary facilities upgrades, and building of the Palmieri Activities Center, a two-story residential cottage, and an admissions welcome center.
  • Growth at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, resulting in the seminary’s recognition as the largest Catholic seminary in the country and establishment of the propaedeutic stage of priestly formation.
  • Partnerships that enable the university to bring new resources to students and the surrounding community. The Emmitsburg Urgent Care Center, in partnership with Frederick Health, provides health care not only to students but also local residents. The Daughters of Charity is a key partner in realizing the vision of the School of Health Professions, which will be located in a renovated space at the Daughters’ Saint Joseph House in Emmitsburg. In addition, the Daughters are also providing space for the seminary’s Blessed Stanley Rother House of Formation.
  • Stewardship of the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, including a year-long refurbishment of the landmark Blessed Virgin Mary statue. The Grotto continues to draw hundreds of thousands of the faithful annually for devotion to Our Blessed Mother and quiet prayerful reflection.

Trainor, a retired brigadier general, became president of the Mount after retirement from a 33-year career with the Army. He formerly served as dean and chief academic officer at the United States Military Academy. Trainor graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy in 1983, has an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke, and a doctorate in industrial engineering from North Carolina State University.

As an engineer officer in the U.S. Army, Trainor served in operational assignments around the world including Germany, Honduras, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Riley, Kansas and Sarajevo, Bosnia. He deployed to Basrah, Iraq in the summer of 2007 and worked with the U.K.-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in helping the provincial Iraqi leaders improve their infrastructure revitalization plans.

Trainor is a fellow of the American Society of Engineering Management, and was named the Engineering Manager of the Year for 2011 by the society. He is a past president of Epsilon Mu Eta, the national Engineering Management Honor Society. Trainor taught courses in engineering management, systems engineering and decision analysis.


Donna Klinger