Dr. Carol A. Leary became president of Bay Path University in December, 1994. During her tenure, Bay Path has added a graduate school with 19 master of science degrees; enriched and enlarged the curriculum with new baccalaureate programs and professional certificates; expanded and renovated major campus buildings; added two additional campus locations in Sturbridge and Burlington, Massachusetts; launched a unique One-Day-A-Week College for adult women; and The American Women's College online.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Boston University, she earned her master of science degree at the State University of New York at Albany and her doctorate of philosophy degree at The American University - Washington, D.C. She previously served as vice president for administration and assistant to the president at Simmons College and held administrative positions at Siena College, Boston University, and the Washington Campus Organization located in Washington, D.C.
A strong advocate of community and professional service, Dr. Leary has served on the boards of numerous state and national organizations. An emerita trustee and former chair of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, she currently serves on the boards of The Frank Stanley Family Beveridge Foundation, Inc., United Bank, and the Governance Committee of the Springfield Economic Development Council. Dr. Leary also previously served as the treasurer of the Women’s College Coalition, chair of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts, and chair of the WGBY Public Television Board of Tribunes.
Dr. Leary also was a member of the organizing team for ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 2009 Western Massachusetts project and chaired the scholarship committee that provided 13 full tuition scholarships from area colleges for the selected family. In addition, she served as the 2009 Honorary Chair of Habitat for Humanity’s All Women build project in Springfield, Massachusetts and is invited to speak on a regular basis at corporations and non-profit organizations on a variety of topics.
Among Dr. Leary’s awards are: the Heart of Gold Award from the Greater Pioneer Valley Chapter of the American Heart Association; the Woman of Distinction Award from the Pioneer Valley Girl Scout Council; the Women of Achievement from the YWCA of Springfield; the Woman of the Year Award from the Women’s Partnership of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield; and the District I Chief Executive Leadership Award from CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education). She was honored by the U.S. Postal Service with the National Women’s History Month Award saluting “Women: Builders of Communities and Dreams” and was the recipient of the Pynchon Award for Distinguished Public Service from the Springfield, Massachusetts Advertising Club.
Most recently, Dr. Leary was recognized for her innovative leadership and support of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Incorporated; awarded the Senior Leadership Award sponsored by the Massachusetts Network American Council on Education National Network of Women Leaders (ACE-NNWL); honored as a Leader by Example by the Unity First News of Springfield, Massachusetts, and received the Springfield, Massachusetts Human Services Forum Award.