University of St. Thomas Announces 1st Woman President

Updated: 02/14/2013 9:54 PM By: Leslie Dyste

The University of St. Thomas introduced Dr. Julie Sullivan as its new president Thursday.

This is the first time that the president isn't a priest and is a woman, according to the university.

St. Thomas changed its bylaws in 2011, allowing for both men and women to become president. The president must still be a practicing Catholic.

Sullivan said, "My hope is for all Tommies to be inspired to challenge themselves and change our world."

Sullivan replaces Father Dennis Dease, 70, who will retire on June 30, after 22 years as president.

Dease referred to Sullivan as a 'star.' He said she's a great fit for St. Thomas.

Sullivan currently is executive vice president and provost at the University of San Diego.

Sullivan has worked at the University of San Diego since 2005. She is married with four children.

Click here to read Sullivan's bio from University of San Diego.

Photo contributed by the University of San Diego.