The St. Catherine University Board of Trustees announced Wednesday that ReBecca (Becky) Koenig Roloff, current President and Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA of Minneapolis, will become the University’s 11th president, effective July 1.
The announcement comes after a nationwide search to replace President Andrea Lee, IHM, who announced she would step down this summer after 18 years. In selecting Roloff for the post, Trustees assessed several highly-qualified candidates for their ability to advance the University’s mission of teaching students to lead and influence, while upholding its bedrock principles of advancing women’s education through Catholic traditions of intellectual inquiry, social justice and liberal arts. Roloff, who earned a B.A. from St. Kate’s in 1976 and an MBA with Distinction from Harvard in 1982, emerged as the best fit.
“We vetted the candidates against our Presidential Search Profile — a guiding document identifying the necessary skills, experience, and personal attributes for our new president — and Becky exceeded those benchmarks,” said Karen Rauenhorst, Chair of St. Catherine University’s Board of Trustees. “Her distinguished career in the private and non-profit sectors has demonstrated her extraordinary leadership, commitment to inclusion and ability to achieve financial stability through fundraising, while at the same time serving the community. Throughout her life, she has remained part of the St. Kate’s community and we are blessed to welcome her home as our next President.”
In joining St. Catherine University, Roloff will complete an 11-year tenure at the helm of the YWCA. During that time — through fundraising and new programming — she championed the organization’s mission to eliminate racism, empower women and girls, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Under her leadership, YWCA revenue grew approximately 70 percent and investment pools nearly quadrupled.
“YWCA of Minneapolis is tremendously grateful to Becky for her leadership the last 11 years. She leaves a legacy of community impact and a resilient, strong organization,” said Irene Quarshie, YWCA Board Chair. “We are proud she will lead another great institution dedicated to women’s leadership and education.”
Prior to leading the YWCA, Roloff spent three decades in senior and executive roles with American Express Financial Advisors, Pillsbury and Cargill. Her experience in organizational governance and community service includes board positions with C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Allina Health, The Blake School, The Charles and Ellora Alliss Educational Foundation and Lakewood Cemetery; among several others. Roloff is also a Trustee Emerita of St. Catherine University, serving from 1983-1995; and as Chair during the last four years of her term.
“There’s no questioning her keen business and financial acumen, and the University needs those skills during these challenging times in higher education,” stated Jean Wincek, CSJ, the board’s Vice Chair and member of the Province Leadership Team of the University’s founding religious order, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. “But what makes her the best person to lead St. Kate’s at this time is her deep commitment to the values and vision that led to its founding by our Sisters over a century ago. As an alumna, she will bring a unique perspective to the role of president.”
Roloff will begin transition meetings with University leadership immediately and anticipates being on campus full-time by August 15. Announcements regarding her inauguration and upcoming community celebrations will be released at a later date.