Announcing the Inauguration of President D. E. Lorraine Sterritt, PhD

Announcing the Inauguration of President D. E. Lorraine Sterritt, PhD

April 13, 2015
photo of D.E. Lorraine Sterritt

The Board of Trustees will inaugurate D. E. Lorraine Sterritt, PhD, as the twentieth president of Salem Academy and College on Friday, April 24, 2015. The inauguration ceremony will honor Salem’s distinguished Moravian heritage, reflect on nearly 250 years of rigorous education, recognize the achievements of Salem Academy and College students, and look with optimism to the future of women’s education. The ceremony will be held in conjunction with the institution’s Founders Day.

Delegates representing colleges and universities from around the nation and Salem students, faculty, staff, alumnae, trustees, parents, and friends will gather in the May Dell, Salem’s outdoor amphitheater, for the special occasion. The ceremony will feature selections of traditional Moravian music, and two compositions by Academy and College alumna Margaret Vardell Sandresky will receive their world premiere. Salem Academy and College students, faculty, and administration will offer remarks; Mayor Allen Joines will bring greetings from the City of Winston-Salem; and A. Hope Williams, President of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, will speak on behalf of the nation’s colleges and universities.

Sterritt became president of the 243-year-old institution on July 1, 2014. Last fall, both the Academy and the College began the 2014–15 academic year with a 12 percent increase in enrollment. As a spirit of optimism and renewal energized the campus, Salem Academy and College announced a $60 million comprehensive campaign in December, two days before breaking ground on a new college residence hall—the McHugh Sisters Flats—that will provide housing for approximately 90 students. By mid-March the Women of Purpose campaign had surpassed the halfway mark of $30 million.

“I am honored to build upon the work of my predecessors at Salem, who, throughout the last 243 years, committed themselves to providing a rigorous education in a supportive community to girls and women. My goal is to ensure that Salem continues to provide her students with the first-rate education that they will need in order to succeed in college, in graduate school, in their careers, and in life,” said Sterritt recently.

Born and raised in Ireland, Sterritt made the United States her home in 1985. She has served in administrative and teaching roles at some of the nation’s top educational institutions including Chatham Hall in Virginia, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University. Most recently, Sterritt was dean for administration at Harvard College and a member of the faculty of arts and sciences at Harvard University.

A weeklong series of celebratory events will take place on the campus in honor of the inauguration. The featured events include student and faculty research presentations at the Academy and the College, vocal performances, art exhibits, the Salem Academy Theatre production of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, and a piano concert by Artist-in-Residence and Director of the Salem College School of Music Barbara Lister-Sink. 

The inauguration will be held on Friday, April 24, at 2:00 pm, in the Salem Academy and College May Dell. (Rain location: Hanes Auditorium in the Elberson Fine Arts Center) Parking is available in the Elberson Fine Arts Center parking lot, at 500 East Salem Avenue. For additional information about the ceremony and a complete list of celebratory events, please visit