Jun. 29, 2021
AUSTIN, Texas — The St. Edward’s University Board of Trustees joins the campus community to warmly welcome new President Montserrat “Montse” Fuentes to the Hilltop.
Fuentes officially assumes the role of president of the nationally ranked private, Catholic university succeeding President Emeritus George E. Martin, who retired on June 30 after 21 years leading the University. Fuentes, a native of Spain, is the first Hispanic president to lead St. Edward’s and the second female president in the university’s history, a role held by Patricia Hayes from 1984–1998.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to join St. Edward’s and look forward to working collaboratively with our dedicated faculty, staff and Board of Trustees to ensure that our students receive a quality education and holistic college experience rooted in our Holy Cross tradition,” Fuentes said.
Fuentes was most recently executive vice president and provost at the University of Iowa, and she also previously served as dean of Humanities and Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University.
As a first-generation college student who went on to achieve a doctorate in Statistics from the University of Chicago and a distinguished decades-long career as a higher education administrator and an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, Fuentes shares in the St. Edward’s University mission to deliver an outstanding education for all students regardless of background or financial circumstance.
St. Edward’s University, a Hispanic-serving institution, has a long history of spearheading programs and providing resources that remove barriers to college for low-income and first-generation college students. The University has initiated recent policies and delivered resources with an eye on accessibility
and affordability, including a Test-Optional Policy, a seamless transfer policy accepting Texas Core Complete, and financial aid webinars in English and Spanish. In addition, success coaches at St. Edward’s help guide and empower students to create a personalized education roadmap that positions them for long-term success.
Fuentes said she is excited to continue building upon the impressive foundation by listening to students, faculty and staff, and looking for new ways to bring ideas and expertise from St. Edward’s University out to the community.
“I am committed to open communication, transparent governance, introducing new academic programs, expanding or improving upon successful initiatives already in existence, and engaging with new partnerships in Austin to enhance the education, internship and service experiences the University provides,” she said.
In a video shared on her first day, Fuentes said she is eager to welcome back students to campus this fall and spoke about her optimism for the upcoming year.
“As we continue to navigate through a global pandemic and embark on a new academic year, I believe we are entering an important time in the history of our university; one that is poised to transform the landscape of higher education going forward,” Fuentes said.
“I am truly excited about the future of St. Edward’s and the path we will take to build upon our strengths in delivering an exceptional educational experience while leaning on the foundation of our Holy Cross mission. Working together as a community and with our Austin partners, we will continue to create a better future for the students we serve,” she added.
About St. Edward's University
St. Edward’s University is a private, liberal arts university in the Catholic, Holy Cross tradition with approximately 4,000 students. Located in Austin, Texas, it is one of the top universities in Texas and offers more than 50 undergraduate and 10 graduate programs. With a network of partner universities around the world, St. Edward’s delivers a premier, highly personalized education that helps students explore their own transformational pathways to knowledge, experience, understanding and success. St. Edward’s has been recognized for 18 consecutive years as one of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report and holds the #8 spot among Best Regional Universities in the West in the U.S. News 2020 and 2021 rankings. For more information on St. Edward’s, visit stedwards.edu/about.