The Mercyhurst University Board of Trustees elected three new trustees, effective Feb. 23, 2013. The new board members were elected during the trustees’ fall meeting Sept. 29.
Elected to four-year terms were Andrea T. Jeffress, M.D.; Jane Gerety, RSM, Ph.D.; and Tom D. Dillehay, Ph.D
Trustee-elect Jeffress is the third medical doctor to serve as a Mercyhurst trustee; the others previously serving are George J. D’Angelo, M.D., and Carl. B. Lechner, M.D. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Wilmington, Del., Jeffress is a board-certified physician affiliated with OB/GYN Associates of Erie. She is a scholar, published research scientist and a graduate of Yale University School of Medicine (1996). She did her internship and residency at the Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Conn.
A role model to high-achieving high school students, she entered her freshman year of college at age 14, majoring in the natural sciences at Bard College at Simon’s Rock (The Early College), where she graduated in 1990. Jeffress is the first African-American woman and first female physician to serve on the Mercyhurst board. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, which has more than 200,000 predominantly African-American women whose purpose is to promote academic excellence and provide assistance and support for established local community programs. She is chair of the mental and physical health committees of the sorority’s Erie alumnae chapter.
Jeffress is the daughter of the Hon. Rosalind Toulson of Wilmington and George Toulson of Newark, Del. She is married to William S. Jeffress, Sr., executive director of the Booker T. Washington Center; and mother of three, William Jr., 9; Jasmine, 12; and Adrianna, 15.
Her appointment is a further sign of the institution’s commitment to the natural sciences on the Erie campus, to its newly created Institute for Public Health, and the health care programs at its North East campus. She is affiliated with UPMC Hamot and the UPMC Surgery Center.
Trustee-elect Gerety, the seventh president of Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., since 2009, is a member of the South Central Community of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. In addition to her presidency, Gerety is vice chair of the President’s Council of the Conference for Mercy Higher Education in Silver Spring, Md., and serves on several not-for-profit boards. She is originally from White Plains, N.Y. Before her presidency at Salve Regina, she had been affiliated for 17 years with Saint Joseph’s Heath System in Atlanta, where she was senior vice president and later sponsorship and compliance officer. Prior to that, Gerety was the academic dean at Carlow College, now Carlow University in Pittsburgh, where she was also director of its public leadership program and special baccalaureate program for poor women in the Pittsburgh Hill District.
She holds an undergraduate and master’s degree in French and a doctorate in English from the University of Michigan. She is a frequent guest speaker and author on the mission of Catholic health care, governance, compliance and health care reform. Gerety will be the first university president to serve as a term trustee on the Mercyhurst board and will be the first Sister of Mercy from outside of the New York, Pennsylvania, Pacific West Community on the board.
Trustee-elect Dillehay is a renowned anthropologist and first and current holder of the Rebecca Webb Wilson endowed chair as Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Religion and Culture at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.
In addition, Dillehay is a professor of anthropology and Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt. He is the leading South American archaeologist and one of the most internationally visible archaeologists of his time. He is recognized for groundbreaking and highly interdisciplinary scientific research. He has served as a consultant to several governments and academic institutions in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico.
Dillehay was born in Dallas, received his doctorate from the University of Texas in 1976 and is the recipient of two honorary doctorates. He has received numerous international and national awards for his research and teaching. He is the author of 18 books and more than 200 journal articles and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He came to Vanderbilt in 2004 from the University of Kentucky, where he served as acting head of its archaeology program.
A prominent academic, Dillehay becomes the first term trustee with faculty status on the Mercyhurst board.
He is married to Dana Nelson and the father of an adult daughter, Andrea Rigamonti.
ANDREA JEFFRESS, M.D. JANE GERETY, RSM, Ph.D. TOM DILLEHAY, Ph.D.