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Incoming Mount Mary University president Christine Pharr spoke about her institution's efforts and responsibilities for students in the sciences during her initial on-campus appearance.

Pharr, who will become the 12th president of Mount Mary in July after being named president in December, spoke to faculty and students Feb. 23. The university is slated to proceed with a $1 million state-of-the-art learning environment upgrade in health sciences.

“Growing up professionally as a woman in the sciences, I know it can be challenging to be a minority,” Pharr said. “Yet many men and women have championed my work during my career and I intend to do the same for others here at Mount Mary.”

The upgrades for health sciences include infrastructure, programs and grants. Details about the improvements will be outlined in a future story by Wauwatosa Now.

In her current role at Saint Mary’s College in Omaha, Nebraska, Pharr has overseen dramatic growth in community engagement and program expansions in business, science, nursing, physician assistant studies and education, according to a news release from Mount Mary.

During a campus tour that followed the event, Pharr visited classes such as chemistry, dietetics, painting and fashion merchandising. She participated in an immersive history class about the American Revolution, role-playing the part of an English general sent by King George III to keep the peace.

During her address to the community, she cited her chemistry background and her abiding love of the arts. She said she supports the university’s commitment to provide creative learning in both sciences and liberal arts.

“While I love a good spreadsheet, when I want to be inspired or moved, I find the arts my ‘go-to’ place," Pharr said. "This is what Mount Mary does so well, educate the whole person.”

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