Lisle, Illinois ~ Longtime Arizona resident and educator Jo Wilson has been tapped to help lead Benedictine University's western expansion of its values-based Catholic higher education to Mesa, Ariz.
Wilson will serve as Senior Administrator and Special Assistant to the Executive Vice President for Benedictine University at Mesa where the college is set to begin business operations this fall in anticipation of offering courses in August 2013.
"Jo brings many insights from her experiences with all levels of education throughout Arizona," said Executive Vice President Charles Gregory. "We are most fortunate to have Jo joining our team. Her many accomplishments and service to the community are synonymous with the values of Benedictine University. Her counsel will be a tremendous asset as we move forward in downtown Mesa."
Wilson will be involved in the September opening and administration of Benedictine University at Mesa's service center at 51 E. Main St. and in efforts to open the academic building for fall 2013 classes.
Prior to this appointment, Wilson was interim provost for the Downtown Center and Red Mountain Campus of Mesa Community College, where she taught and worked in numerous positions for more than 40 years – earning many honors. In 2010, Wilson was named Mesa's Woman of the Year for her decades of public service.
Wilson earned a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics Education from the University of Arizona and a Master of Science from Arizona State University.
"I am anxious to be a part of the Benedictine family," said Wilson.
Benedictine plans to begin business operations this fall at a service center at 51 E. Main St. and will offer classes beginning August 2013 at 225 E. Main St., both located in downtown Mesa. Initial degree offerings will include a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and Organizational Behavior, in addition to a minor in Religious Studies.
University officials believe its Mesa branch campus will service a demand for a Catholic college in Maricopa County, which has an estimated 530,000 Catholics but no Catholic colleges. It also fits perfectly into the University's mission to offer a faith-based, values-centered liberal arts education.
In March, the University celebrated the 125th anniversary of its founding by Benedictine monks. Benedictine is known for outstanding programs in science, business, health, education and the liberal arts.
Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the sixth largest in the Chicago area in 2014.