President Janis P. Bellack: 2017 Commencement Speaker

Jan Bellack

Dr. George Thibault, Chair of the Board of Trustees, is pleased to announce that President Janis P. Bellack, will give the 2017 Commencement address on May 6, 2017.

President Bellack, who also holds the title of John Hilton Knowles Professor, has led the school since 2007, and will retire on June 30.

“We are thrilled that President Bellack will be this year’s Commencement speaker,” said Dr. Thibault. “Jan has been a transformational leader of the Institute, and I know this year’s graduates will enjoy hearing her words of wisdom from her many years in health care and higher education.”

The Institute has seen exponential growth under President Bellack’s leadership. During her 10 years as president, the student population has grown from 852 to 1,550; the Faculty has doubled to 140; operating revenue has climbed from $19.2 million to $49.1 million; and the school’s footprint in the Charlestown Navy Yard has expanded from one building to seven, increasing from 65,000 square feet to almost 160,000 square feet. The Institute has also significantly expanded its research activities, including opening a dedicated on-campus research facility.

Dr. Bellack has spent more than 40 years in higher education. She has held faculty positions at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville; Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA; University of Kentucky, Lexington; and faculty and administrative positions at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, and just prior to coming to the Institute, at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, where she served as provost and academic vice president. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a Fellow of the National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nursing Education, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Nursing Education.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Virginia, master’s degree in pediatric nursing from the University of Florida, Gainesville, and PhD in educational policy studies from the University of Kentucky. She has been honored as Distinguished Alumna of the Year by the University of Virginia, School of Nursing; Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Florida, College of Nursing; and inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame at the University of Kentucky.