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Office of the President

Rosemont College has announced that President Sharon L. Hirsh, PhD, ’70 will retire on May 31, 2020.

The news was shared in letters to the Rosemont community and supporters from Dr. Hirsh and Rosemont Board Chair Maria Feeley, Esq. The news was also covered in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Sharon Latchaw Hirsh, PhD, an alumna of the class of 1970, has been President of Rosemont College since 2006, after serving as Acting President and Interim President, respectively, during the illness and following the death of President Ann Amore.

“My time as President of my alma mater has been an unexpected but absolutely wonderful capstone to my academic career, and I am proud of all that, together, we have accomplished for Rosemont,” said Dr. Hirsh.

In 2017, Dr. Hirsh signed a three-year contract, which ends in the 2019-2020 academic year.

“While it is hard to believe that time period has nearly ended, I will share with you that leaving will be bittersweet for me,” she said. “I have been planning for my retirement for a long time, and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the world of art history again, enjoying a less hectic schedule, and, of course, being able to spend more time with my son, daughter-in-law, and my new grandson, even as I know I will really miss being at Rosemont. And I am excited about immediately returning to campus as a “private citizen” for my 50th Reunion with the great class of 1970 in June of 2020!”

Under President Hirsh’s leadership, enrollment has increased, the Undergraduate College has become co-educational, online degree programs have been developed, campus facilities have been enhanced and renovated, Undergraduate College tuition has been decreased, salaries have grown, and academic programs have been strengthened.

During her 13-year tenure, Dr. Hirsh has overseen numerous achievements at Rosemont College, including:

  • Undergraduate college transition to a co-educational institution in 2009
  • Tuition reduction by 43% and room and board by 12% announced in September 2015 – “Our Tuition Promise”
  • Completion of $40 million comprehensive fundraising campaign in 2017
  • Launch of RoCo Option, Rosemont’s test optional admissions policy, in 2018
  • The dedication and iopening of the College’s  new 73,000 square foot campus community center in November 2019. (The  Center  was named the “Sharon Latchaw Hirsh Community Center” in her honor by Board of Trustees.)
  • Numerous campus facilities enhancements and renovations, such as construction of the Ravens Athletic Complex, Library Information Commons, Gracemere Honors House, Rotwitt Theater, and Cardinal Dining Hall

In addition, under Dr. Hirsh’s presidency, the College established the Institute for Ethical Leadership and Social Responsibility, added seven new athletic teams, and developed collaborative partnerships with Drexel University, Salus University, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, University of the Sciences, and Eastern University, while maintaining strong partnerships with the seven other Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education (SEPCHE) colleges and universities, as well as Rosemont’s neighbor, Villanova University.

In her letter Dr. Hirsh also conveyed her trust in the search process for the 14th President of the College.

“I have every confidence that in selecting the 14th President of the College, the Board of Trustees, through the search committee on which faculty, staff, alumni, and students will serve, will be mindful of all that makes Rosemont College unique, that our mission and values will be upheld, and that the POWER of small will be championed.”

A 1970 graduate of Rosemont College, Sharon Latchaw Hirsh earned a bachelor’s degree in history of art and studio art. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in art history from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971 and 1974 respectively. Beginning in 1974, Dr. Hirsh served on the faculty at Dickinson College and later held an endowed chair as the Charles A. Dana Professor of Art History.

President Hirsh is an internationally recognized scholar of turn of the century art in western Europe. She has served as a visiting fellow at numerous institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Gallery of Art, as a visiting curator at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and at the Schweizerisch Institute fur Kunstwissenschaft in Zurich, and as a visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts.

She is the author of numerous scholarly articles and exhibition catalogues. In 2004, Dr. Hirsh's fifth book, Symbolism and Modern Urban Society was published by Cambridge University Press.

Founded in 1921 by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, Rosemont College is a private, coeducational Catholic institution. Rosemont offers a comprehensive education through small group and experiential learning experiences while providing campus-wide academic, spiritual, and professional support. The college respects and embraces diversity and individuality and promotes students’ lifelong success.