• Laura Ndour

President Trainor is an Influential Marylander


In Aug. 2021, President Timothy Trainor was named as one of the most influential Marylanders by The Daily Record. Trainor, along with 50 other recipients of the title, were selected for their contributions to their field and leadership in the state of Maryland.


When asked if he ever imagined as a child that he would be named an influential person by a magazine, Trainor said, “Oh, no, not at all. I don’t know how influential I am, but I guess I have some influence as a university president and getting to work with our wonderful students and staff each day. But no, the short answer is no. I had no idea.”


Trainor graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy, holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke and earned his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering at North Carolina State University. He has been serving as the President of Mount St. Mary’s University since 2016.


Trainor upheld his career in the Army for 33 years, in which he served as a dean and chief academic officer at the United States Military Academy. A well-traveled engineer in the U.S. Army, he served in operational tasks worldwide, including Germany, Honduras, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Riley, Kansas and Sarajevo, Bosnia. In 2007, he deployed to Basra, Iraq and worked with the U.K. Provincial Reconstruction Team.


Trainor believes his military background has played a role in his leadership capabilities at the Mount. “I was put in leadership positions from the time I was 23 years old. I learned by doing experience-based leadership development throughout my military career. Much of that came out in all the planning around the pandemic because we did a lot of crisis management... helping lead the institution through this pandemic, and continuing to do so.”


Dr. Bernard Franklin, the Vice President for Student Life, also reinforced the idea that Trainor’s military background is seen through his decision-making process and separates him from other university presidents.


“He’s a strong leader; he’s a clear leader. He knows what the problems are, and a part of it is he has a military background, so he sees things differently. And for the virus, he would always tell us that’s the enemy. His framework is that the enemy is not going to take us. We’re going to take the enemy and we’re not going to let it defeat us,” Franklin asserted.


There are many traits that make up a great leader. Some include courage, integrity, communication, vision as well as the ability to take risks. Trainor noted one of the most remarkable risks he took in his career was applying for the job as Dean at West Point. He was the youngest and least experienced candidate but still took the risk and applied because he believed he had something to offer. In taking that risk, he was highly successful because it opened up many more doors for him.


During a student’s time at Mount, they are asked to explore the question, “How do we want to live significantly?” It is an advantage to have a President who has taken on this leadership role from such a young age and guides students in the right direction concerning what it takes to be a successful leader and finding a purpose.