Hodge reports for duty as 12th president

July 1, 2024
President Donna Hodge headshot
President Lapidus and President Hodge smile at ice cream social June 2024
President Lapidus and incoming President Hodge greeted faculty, librarians, staff and students at an ice cream social on June 25.

Donna Hodge, PhD, officially began her tenure as the 12th president of Fitchburg State University on Monday, July 1.

Dr. Hodge was selected by the university’s Board of Trustees this April following a national search. She comes to Fitchburg from Colorado State University Pueblo, where she was Vice President of Operations & Advancement since 2021. Her experience at the institution also included service as chief strategy officer and tenured faculty member.

Dr. Hodge succeeds Richard S. Lapidus, who retired last week following nine years at Fitchburg State.

“I am honored to serve this vibrant and dynamic institution and am deeply committed to continuing the Fitchburg State legacy of excellence,” Dr. Hodge wrote in a welcome message to the campus on Monday. “First and foremost, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to outgoing President Rich Lapidus, who has served our campus with dedication and vision since 2015. His leadership has been instrumental in guiding Fitchburg State through significant growth and development. We owe him a debt of gratitude for his unwavering commitment to our university.”

Dr. Hodge met with a variety of campus and community constituents during President Lapidus’ final week on campus, and is already preparing for the coming academic year.

“As we look ahead, state public institutions face numerous challenges and opportunities,” she said. “We must navigate the evolving landscape of higher education, ensuring that we provide accessible, high-quality education to all our students while fostering innovation and inclusivity. Make no mistake, while our work will require the best of all of us, I am filled with hope and optimism for the future of Fitchburg State University. Together, we will address these challenges head-on and seize the opportunities to enhance our institution and positively impact our community.”

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