Meet Hamline University's 21st president


Acting/Interim President Kathleen M. Murray comes to Hamline University with a twenty-year track record of effective leadership at private institutions nationwide.

After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan with a BA in music, she earned her master's degree in music from Bowling Green State University and her doctor of music from Northwestern University in June 1989.

She became Dean of the Conservatory at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. in 1999, becoming Dean of the Faculty in 2003. From there, she moved to Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama. Like Hamline, Birmingham-Southern is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. She served there from 2005-2008 as Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs.

From 2008-2015, President Murray worked at Macalester College in St. Paul, where she served as Provost and Dean of the Faculty. While there, she directed planning for the university’s Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, a $70 million project that was completed in 2014. She also served as the interim president of the institution for four months in 2013.

She then served for seven years as president of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. From 2015-2022, President Murray guided a community engagement process that laid the groundwork for a $100 million comprehensive campaign completed prior to her retirement. She also raised over $10 million for a new dining and residence hall on campus, representing the largest fundraising effort for a capital project in Whitman’s history.

Outside of campus, President Murray serves on the Champions of Higher Education Steering Committee, a group of over 200 former college, university and system heads who work to build coalitions to fight political interference and government overreach on campuses nationwide. This is only one of thirteen boards and commissions she has worked with since 2000.

Her other endeavors include service on the NCAA Division III Presidents’ Council and the boards of the Annapolis Group, the Council of Independent Colleges, the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, the Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth, the Music Teachers National Association and Alabama Public Radio.

Hamline University is proud to welcome Dr. Kathleen M. Murray as our 21st president.