New CHC president, partnerships and chaplain part of vision for future

by Marilee Gallagher, Assistant Director of Communications at Chestnut Hill College
Posted 1/3/24

Chestnut Hill College’s 99th year was truly one for the history books. New beginnings and exciting milestones helped tell the College’s story.

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New CHC president, partnerships and chaplain part of vision for future


Chestnut Hill College’s 99th year was truly one for the history books. As beloved traditions continued, new beginnings and exciting milestones helped tell the College’s story. Now, as Chestnut Hill College looks ahead to 2024 and its 100th Anniversary, we look back on a memorable year filled with just relationships, athletic successes, academic achievements, and brand new partnerships with eyes toward the future and the next 100 years. Here are some of the highlights from 2023.

Inauguration of 7th President 

In the Fall of 2023, Chestnut Hill College formally inaugurated William W. Latimer, Ph.D., MPH, as the seventh president – and first male and lay president – in the College’s 99-year history. Dr. Latimer’s inauguration was a celebration of CHC’s storied past while also focusing on the strong future of the College. The inauguration included the Annual CHC at the Phillies game where Dr. Latimer threw out the first pitch, GriffinFest, the return of the Schubert Lecture, and much more. Once again, the College partnered with Chestnut Hill Brewing, creators of the Vale Pale Ale in 2022, to create the Inauguration IPA in 2023. The special beer was served during the Inauguration Week events.

In addition to the celebration, Inauguration Week was a chance to recognize achievements past, present and future. As undergraduate enrollment continues to see strong growth trends, renovations to the exercise science lab, added Amazon Hub lockers, continued commitment to a burgeoning neurodiversity program, and additions of the president’s ambassadors and student success advisors, all mark the evolving nature of CHC’s educational experience. An experience that will soon include a nursing program, which is on the horizon and set to launch in a few short years.

Increasing Partnerships 

A devastating fire in the spring of 2023 left Our Mother of Consolation (OMC)’s faculty, staff, and most importantly students, without their school. It did not take long for the College to spring into action, working with OMC to ensure that all their students could stay together in one building for the remainder of the school year and beyond. The partnership with OMC not only allowed the College to provide for the Dear Neighbor but it also created enriching relationships as evidenced by the OMC glee club participating in the College’s Annual Carol Night in December, along with new mentorship programs for CHC and OMC students, faculty, and staff funded by a $100,000 grant from the Connelly Foundation.

Expanding on a previous partnership, students in the Center for Business worked together with owners of local businesses in Chestnut Hill as part of their Griffin Tank senior project. This revived relationship with Chestnut Hill has provided visibility and presence with students exploring the town, and members of the local community coming to campus to enjoy lectures and other events. Chestnut Hill College also took part in CH on Ice in February and joined colleagues in the CHBA during this summer’s “Good Morning America” small-town America visit where CHC mascot Big Griff helped kick off the festivities.

Student Trips and New Muslim Chaplain

Chestnut Hill College’s mission has always placed an emphasis on academic success and living and emboldening the charisms of the Sisters of Saint Joseph (SSJ). This summer saw students have global experiences in the name of both goals. Students traveled to Belgium for an academic and cultural adventure as part of a study abroad trip. Several students also had the chance to go on service-learning excursions to Ghana as part of the College’s continued commitment to the African Sisters Education Collaborative, and Le Puy and Leon, France, to walk the paths of the College’s founders, the SSJs.

With a continued commitment to inclusivity, Chestnut Hill College hired its first-ever Muslim chaplain, Aziz Nathoo, whose work in interfaith coalitions has provided a background for much of the College’s DEI efforts this past year.