Marist Announces Two New Trustees and New Board Chair

Marist New Board of Trustees & Chair
                                                  Left to right: Maureen O'Rourke '85, Ross Mauri '80, Robert Shanahan '83

May 14, 2018 — The Marist College Board of Trustees elected alumni Maureen O’Rourke ’85 and Robert Shanahan ’83 to the Board during the May meeting held on campus earlier this month.

Also at the May meeting, Ellen Hancock stepped down as Board Chair after having served in that role since 2010.  She will continue service on the Marist Board and become Immediate Past Chair. The Hancock Center on the Marist campus is named in her honor in recognition of her lead gift. Succeeding Hancock as Chair will be Vice Chair Ross Mauri '80, who is General Manager, IBM Z at the IBM Corporation in Poughkeepsie. A resident of Lagrangeville, Mauri has been a Trustee since 1996 and until recently served as Chair of the Board's Information Technology Committee. Mauri was Chair of the Presidential Search Committee of the Board in 2015-2016. His daughter graduated from Marist in 2015.

Maureen O’Rourke is currently the dean of Boston University School of Law. In that role, she oversaw the gut renovation of the existing facility and the construction of a new building to form a state-of-the-art campus for law study. She is also widely credited with navigating the school successfully through rapidly changing times in legal education and law employment by expanding financial aid, increasing career development support, and working with the faculty to develop innovative curricular offerings. These include clinics with MIT, a Business Fundamentals required course, “Lawyering Lab,” and a number of graduate programs. She has also helped to raise the school’s public interest profile by establishing public interest scholarships, a pro bono program, spring break service trips, and enhanced loan repayment assistance. The National Jurist recognized her as one of the top 25 most influential people in legal education from 2014-16, the first Boston University dean to appear on the list. She also received Boston University’s Metcalf Award, the University’s highest teaching honor. She is a co-author of Copyright in a Global Information Technology and has published articles in a number of law reviews, in her teaching areas of intellectual property and commercial law.
O’Rourke joined Boston University in 1993 after working at IBM Corporation. An ongoing supporter of Marist, she served as chair of the Pre-Law Advisory Board and established a scholarship in 2014. 

Robert Shanahan was the president and chief executive officer of Lightower Fiber Networks, a privately held company that provides wireless infrastructure, digital fiber optic networks, and wireless services. He oversaw the company’s dramatic expansion which culminated in Crown Castle International Corp. finalizing its bid to acquire Lightower for $7.1 billion in November 2017.  He is now overseeing corporate transitions for Crown Castle.

Shanahan’s earlier efforts were also immensely successful. He founded Conversent Communications and served as the company’s president and CEO from 1998 until it was sold in 2006. Always an entrepreneur, Shanahan began his career founding Pace Long Distance Company, a start-up long-distance provider. Throughout his career, he also held positions with MCI, Brooks Fiber, and WorldCom. 

A longtime supporter of his alma mater, Shanahan has participated in Marist’s Hudson Valley Scholars program and is also actively involved with the Boys & Girls Club and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

About Marist

Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist is consistently recognized for excellence by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures and The Best 381 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (9th Best Regional University/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. Marist educates approximately 5,000 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and numerous graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees.