HCC welcomes new president, first woman to hold post

  • Christina Royal started as president of Holyoke Community College on Jan. 9, 2017. She is the fourth president in the college's 70-year history and the first woman president of the college, according to spokesperson Chris Yurko. Holyoke Community College

Published: 1/10/2017 9:17:14 AM

HOLYOKE – A new president started Monday at Holyoke Community College.

Christina Royal is the fourth president in the college’s 70-year history and the first woman to hold the position, according to the college’s spokesperson Chris Yurko.

For Royal, her career in serving community colleges is personal. 

“Growing up as a first generation, low-income, bi-racial college student, I understand the community college student and the challenges they face,” Royal said in her application. “Student success is most effectively achieved when an institution understands the unique support needs of students in two-year colleges.”

She holds a doctorate in education from Capella University and a master’s degree in educational psychology from Marist College.

Prior to her new position at HCC, Royal served as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota. She has also served at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, as associate vice president of eLearning & Innovation and executive director of Distance Learning.

Royal will be taking the place of William F. Messner, who retired on July 31, ending his 12-year tenure at the institution, according to HCC.

Caitlin Ashworth can be reached at cashworth@gazettenet.com.


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