My Departure from Saint Mary’s

A message to the campus community

by Richard Plumb, PhD, President | March 30, 2023

Dear Saint Mary’s campus community,

After careful consideration and discussion with my family and the Board of Trustees, I am stepping down as President of Saint Mary’s College. I will continue in my current role through the end of the current academic year and continue to support the highly talented and strong senior leadership team as we ensure the College’s operations continue smoothly and support our students, faculty, staff, and our extended community.

Having served as Saint Mary’s President for two years has been one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences of my life. I feel deeply indebted to so many of you for making my and Mary’s time at Saint Mary’s full of joy and love.

It has been both an honor and a privilege to work side-by-side with such tremendously talented faculty, staff, students, alumni, Christian Brothers, and other supporters. The dedication and commitment to our students’ success that you demonstrate every day inspired and energized me and is part of Saint Mary’s special character.

As I reflect on my tenure as President, I am thankful for the opportunity to have:

  • Guided the College through the COVID-19 pandemic and positioned it for success in the post-pandemic environment;
  • Established a new senior leadership team
  • Facilitated the completion of the College’s five-year strategic plan, Transformation 2028, and initiated its implementation phase that will culminate in our centennial year in Moraga; 
  • Worked with the divisions of Enrollment Management to increase applications for 2023-24; Strategic Partnerships & Advancement to meet fundraising goals; and Marketing & Communications to increase our institution’s brand visibility;
  • Collaborated with the Faculty Senate to increase open communication with faculty and staff; and
  • Worked with Facilities Services and the Board of Trustees to facilitate the update of several residence halls, prioritize critical safety repairs, and take steps towards modernizing our buildings and grounds.

Beyond the day-to-day work and many accomplishments we have achieved together, you have been like family. Mary and I cherish the “Pasta with the Plumbs” and cookie-decorating parties we hosted in our residence with Gael students, for instance, and we will never forget the warmth and caring attitude that so many of you displayed on a regular basis.

Ours is a College that—with your continued work—will become a leading innovative, national Catholic university that inspires minds, touches hearts, and transforms lives. As Mary and I depart and begin to prepare for the next chapter in our lives, I encourage you to continue working toward this vision.

Thank you all again for the privilege of working with and learning from you.


Richard Plumb, PhD