- Cheyenne McGowan
President Trainor Announces Retirement
From town halls to celebrating student achievements, President Timothy Trainor reflects on years of leading students and faculty on Mary’s holy mountain. Trainor shared his most notable memories of being the head of Mount St. Mary’s University in light of his upcoming retirement in 2024.
Before serving the Mount for nearly seven years, Trainor was involved with academics at West Point and was set to retire in 2016 from there. Trainor explained how a meeting with Ambassador Jim Nicholson at West Point during his retirement in 2016 led him to Mount St. Mary’s.
He stated, “He (Nicholson) introduced me to Suzanne, his wife, and a member of the Mount’s board at the time. The Mount was looking for an interim president then, and I started the interview process and was fortunate to be selected.”
Trainor’s serendipitous introduction to the Mount has led him to many great years here with this community. When asked how these years have been for him, he shared not only the easy tasks but also noted the trials that later led to joyous moments.
“The students and people of our community have been a joy to be with, but we navigated some turbulent times,” he reflected. Trainor identified the turbulent times as the recovery from past leadership turmoil he had to take over for at the start of his tenure.
He also explained the challenges of navigating the pandemic and trying to keep the university community safe while still upholding academia.
Despite the difficulty of the challenges, he reflected on them in a positive light, saying, “It has been both challenging and rewarding to see the community come together during my years here and reach new heights of success.” Finding the reward of success despite the challenge to achieve it is what being a leader means and Trainor embodies it.
Kaylee Dombrowski (C’25), adds to the point of excellent leadership when asked about how Trainor has added to the Mount. She stated, “He helped the Mount rebuild after a major controversy, through the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuilding afterward.”
When asked about his most notable memories with students, Trainor remarked, “Identifying the most notable is tough because I have had so many good interactions with students over the years.” Despite finding it difficult to pick, Trainor did salute the moment of the 2017 basketball season when the men’s team won the conference and a game in the NCAA tournament.
Not only does he have a fondness for students, but the students have a great liking for him as well. Aaliyah Ferguson (C’25) said with esteem, “He appreciates us students on campus. It’s very easy to be absent in the life of students, even on such a small campus but I feel like President Trainor is a constant presence.” Trainor makes students and faculty feel seen and heard through his constant participation in various roles at the Mount.
As the beloved president exits, he has a future endeavor he’s anticipating. “I plan on spending more time visiting my children and their families,” he shared. Family is what Trainor cherishes, just as he does the Mount family.
He has spent less than a decade here yet he is leaving such a tremendous impact. Trainor has truly inspired students to lead lives of significance. Much appreciation to Trainor and congratulations! The Mount community is grateful for the time he invested in it and wishes him the best for his retirement.
President Trainor poses for a photo in his office.
Photo by: Kaitlin Farrell