SMWC President Receives Torchbearer Award

October 1st, 2015 | SMWC

Dottie King, with husband Wayne, and State Rep. Shelia Klinker (D-Lafayette)
Dottie King, with husband Wayne, and State Rep. Shelia Klinker (D-Lafayette)

“A woman who leads by example to foster and promote leadership through her passion for life-long learning and her commitment to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.” This is how Dottie King, Ph.D., president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College was described as she received the 2015 Indiana Torchbearer Award from the Indiana Commission for Women. The awards were presented to eight incredible women September 30, 2015, at its annual ceremony held at the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis, Ind.

The Torchbearer Awards were presented to women across Indiana who have been pioneers throughout their lives or who have stepped forward as leaders by breaking down barriers. These women are honored for their stories of courage, perseverance and compassion. They have become true beacons of light and their stories of courage, perseverance and compassion create a lasting legacy.

King was selected for this prestigious award due in part to her leadership under challenging circumstances when the College announced that it would become fully coeducational in the fall of 2015. She and the board of trustees laid out a strategic vision for the College that will be transformative with many opportunities to grow and remain a vibrant institution that will provide students with a high-quality, private liberal arts education.

King brings 29 years of higher education experience to her role as the 16th president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. During her tenure, the college advanced its ranking among the 2015 Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, SMWC is listed among the top programs nationally in U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 Best Online Undergraduate Programs and best online graduate business programs rankings.

She led SMWC through an $11 million capital campaign to build a sports and recreation center. The facility opened in November 2014 and enhances the college experience for students and provides multiple opportunities to collaborate with the local community through health and wellness initiatives and other programs.

Sisters of Providence and SMWC staff, along with Dottie King, and husband Wayne
Sisters of Providence and SMWC staff, along with Dottie King, and husband Wayne

King places special emphasis on collaboration and has strengthened the College’s local and statewide presence with involvement in many organizations and initiatives. Appointed by Congressman Larry Bucshon, King serves on the Indiana 8th Congressional District Higher Education Advisory Committee. She is a member of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s Business-Higher Education Forum, a committee of business and postsecondary leaders that serves as both the chamber’s policy committee on higher education issues and an opportunity for collaboration between these two constituencies. 

She was appointed to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) Board of Directors, which sets the association agenda on federal higher education policy; actively encourages support of association priorities and initiatives; and oversees the organization’s financial administration. She also works closely with Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann on an initiative to promote women’s education initiatives through a joint partnership with the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana over the past two years. 

King holds her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction/educational leadership from Indiana State University. She has delivered numerous presentations and published research on factors that encourage women to persist in their study of mathematics.

Other Torchbearer recipients include:

  • Kathy Cabello, Cabello and Associates, Indianapolis
  • Nimbilasha Cushing, Author, South Bend
  • Sue Anne Gilroy, St. Vincent’s Foundation, Indianapolis
  • Angie Lewis, Crane Naval Base, Bedford
  • Cynthia Newman, Raising Queens Initiative Indianapolis
  • Kathy Schoettlin, Old National Bank, Mount Vernon
  • Toby Strout, Middle Way House, Bloomington