Cabrini College names first male president

Cabrini College in Radnor on Thursday named the provost of a Catholic university in the Chicago suburbs as its first male president.

Donald B. Taylor, provost and chief academic officer of Benedictine University, will take the helm on July 1 as the eighth president of Cabrini, a Catholic college with about 2,700 graduate and undergraduate students.

He replaces Marie Angelella George, who resigned in June after five years at the helm. Deb Takes, formerly the chair of the board of trustees, had been serving as interim president, as Cabrini conducted a national search for a new leader.

“I have a strong sense of the values, strengths, and challenges of Cabrini,” Taylor, 49, a biologist, said in a statement, “and I am eager to work with the entire Cabrini College community as together we build this magnificent institution into a leader in higher education.”

Taylor has worked at Benedictine for more than 20 years in various roles, serving as provost since 2008.

Thomas P. Nerney, chair of Cabrini’s board of trustees, cited Taylor’s “energy, focus and commitment” and said he is supportive of education rooted in Catholic traditions. Cabrini was founded in 1957 by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

“I am confident that Dr. Taylor's record of accomplishments in higher education will invigorate Cabrini's signature programs in education, communication, business, and psychology,” Nerney said in an email to the Cabrini community. “His extensive background in the sciences is vital to maximizing our new partnerships with Temple, Jefferson, and Widener universities in dentistry, pharmacy, and physical therapy.”

At Benedictine, Taylor helped to launch two branch campuses in Springfield Ill. and Mesa, Ariz., and helped to oversee the university’s transformation from a small residential liberal arts college of 1,000 students to a doctoral institution of almost 10,000. He also forged programs and partnerships with community colleges, professional schools, teaching hospitals and local school districts.

Before becoming provost, he served as the first dean of the college of science, chair of the department of biological sciences and program director for the biochemistry and molecular biology program. He has been on the faculty since 1992.

Taylor has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a doctorate in cell and molecular biology from the University of Memphis.

He will visit the campus in late March in preparation for taking the helm in the summer. Taylor, his wife, Lechia, and their son, Seth, 13, will move into the president’s residence on Upper Gulph Road at the north edge of campus.