New Mother McAuley President Aims to Bring Business Savvy to Role
Mary Acker Klingenberger brings a business eye and alumna touch to her role as president of the all-girls school.
It's been three weeks since Mary Acker Klingenberger started her new position as president of Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School. It's a homecoming of sorts for the 1975 grad who takes the reins of the school's business and outreach operations.
Klingenberger was previously director of gift planning at Hinsdale Hospital and was a regional president Harris Bank of Hinsdale. She has an extensive background in both fund raising and management.
Were you excited about returning to Mother McAuley?
I love Mother McAuley and think it provided me with an opportunity to be fearless throughout my career. I realized more when my boys were leaving high school what a big deal high school is. It is really the building blocks for an individual.
What will you be doing as president?
Well this is a new role, so I am the face and spokesperson of Mother McAuley and I really manage it as a business. I am bringing a lot of my corporate experience to the areas that report to me, helping people realize that we are running a school and a business too. There are certain things we can do to gain efficiencies and to understand who we are trying to get in the door, I am only on the business side.
What do you hope to add to Mother McAuley?
I really think the school is doing so many things right. I think there are some advancements we can make and some efficiencies we can create, just some fine tuning of things that are already in place.
What challenges do Catholic schools face in this economy?
I think that we make sure that we have terrific students walking in the doors and wonderful teachers and that we are providing a wonderful product for parents who are sacrificing. It's a sacrifice to send a student to a Catholic high school and we have to make sure we are giving them a well-rounded student with all the opportunities in the world.
What makes McAuley unique?
I think the single gender and the Mercy charism really develop a wonderful woman that can be a terrific leader in the future. I think it's important to remember that well-educated women create great communities and provide great opportunities for families, really make the world go round.
How important is an engaged and involved alumnae community?
I think they need to support our mission and help us move forward because so much of this depends on donations. Also it's important to bring them back . . . what great role models for our students. We need to call on them for a variety of reasons whether it is financial, advice as a board member or as a mentor. They are very committed.
Klingenberger encourages all Mother McAuley alums to return for the school's all class reunion in November to see how the school looks and what has been accomplished over the years.