Mary E. Lyons, Ph.D., became president of the University of San Diego in July, 2003. During her extensive career in education, Lyons has enjoyed rich and varied experiences as a teacher, professor and administrator. Before taking the helm at USD, Lyons was president of the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn. Prior to this, she served as the president of the California Maritime Academy, a campus of the California State University in Vallejo. With this appointment Lyons was commissioned a rear admiral in the U.S. Maritime Service. Earlier in her career she was the academic dean and professor of Rhetoric and Homiletics at the Franciscan School of Theology, Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. A fifth-generation Californian, Lyons spent her childhood traveling with her military family, living throughout the United States and in Eritrea, Africa. She received her undergraduate degree from Sonoma State University, her Master of Arts from San Jose State University and her Ph.D from UC Berkeley. During her 25-year career as a U.S. Naval Reserve Officer, she held a variety of assignments, including an active duty position teaching at the Naval Training Center in San Diego and two appointments as commanding officer of Naval Reserve units. She retired in 1996 as a captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve. She has received the San Francisco Medallion for scholarly achievement and community service, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Sonoma State University and the recipient of a Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College of New Rochelle. She is chair of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, Council of Presidents for the Association of Governing Boards, the St. Joseph Health System and the San Diego Opera.
From San Diego Metro