Dr. Espy, Mitchell College

Message from the President

Dr. Espy, Mitchell College

Dear Mitchell College Community,

I am excited to finally be here in New London, taking the helm in leading Mitchell College as your eighth president during this extraordinary time! Amid all of the uncertainty in the world today, I see endless opportunities for us—the community of Mitchell College and Thames at Mitchell—to work together in support of each other and those around us.

During the interview process for my position, as I learned more about the Mitchell Ability Model, I was impressed by the students’ deep acquisition of skills critical to adaptability; it’s a model that builds resiliency and sets students up for success in responding to the rapid changes that we are living through today, as well as an unpredictable future. I was inspired by the mission of Mitchell College to celebrate and develop the power of unique minds, and I am eager to build on the valuable student experiences already in place and find new channels through which students can explore, grow and thrive, with a particular commitment to diversity, racial equality and social justice issues.

Transitions of any kind, including from one college president to another, always create some disruption in the lives of those impacted by the change. Add a global pandemic and social unrest into the mix, and it takes a whole crew working together to adjust the sails and move ahead. I want to recognize the fantastic job that all of the faculty and staff did over the past several months, navigating uncharted waters and keeping our students safe and dry—in other words, engaged and cared for.

In the short time that I’ve been here, I am so taken with the beautiful campus and historic shoreline community to which Mitchell belongs. They have already become part of my story that I am telling others about this special college. I can’t wait to hear your stories about Mitchell—whether you are new here, like me, or a returning student in your final year, an alumni, community member, or a longtime faculty or staff member. One day, we will greet each other in person, but, for now, we will look for ways to come together remotely.

In the meantime, I am here for you. Please reach out to me and say hello, or connect with me on social media:



Message from Dr. Tracy Espy
Dr. Espy, Mitchell College
Dr. Espy Bio

Dr. Tracy Y. Espy became the eighth president and first African-American woman to lead Mitchell College in New London, Connecticut, on July 1, 2020.  She is currently engaged with the Governor’s Workforce Council, the FEMA Region 1 Covid-19 Long-Term Recovery Task Force, and the CT Higher Education Resilience Working Group on Workforce Development.  She was also recently appointed to serve on the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities administered Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), a nationwide network of colleges and universities formed to enrich intellectual and theological exploration of vocation among undergraduate students.

Before coming to Mitchell, Dr. Espy served as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Pfeiffer University in North Carolina from 2008, overseeing all academic programs and divisions and working in various aspects of university administration such as enrollment management, strategic planning and fundraising. Prior to this role, she was vice president for servant leadership and oversaw the Francis Center for Servant Leadership, establishing more than 100 community partnerships, along with university-wide servant-leadership initiatives, earning the university a Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation, as well as the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

In April 2019, Espy received the national Zenobia L. Hikes Faculty Women of Color Award at Virginia Tech University. The award honored her accomplishment in improving faculty salaries and institutional diversity at Pfeiffer University.

Dr. Espy received a Ph.D. in Child/Family-Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University, a M.S. in Family Studies from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and a B.A. from Berea College, Berea, Kentucky. Her teaching and research expertise include systemic theory, ethnic identity and self-esteem, servant leadership, service-learning, and student engagement.

College Leadership

Tracy Espy, Ph.D.

Board of Trustees
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Rick D’Avino, J.D.
Vice Chair Jane Flood, P ’18
Secretary Bridget Baird, Ph.D.
Treasurer Tom Ruffing, M.E., M.B.A., P ’16
Lucila Arango, P ’14
Helene Banks, J.D.
Patrick Caulfield, P ’15
Nancy Dolan ’74
Peggy Flood, Ed.D., P ’16
Sam Flood, P’18
Kevin R. Hennessy, J.D.
Mark Kirschner, ’68
Walter Kuhn, M.B.A., P ’20
Gwen Mariani, P ’21
Joe Mariani, P ’21
Barbara Pratt, M.B.A., P ’16
Charles Pratt, P ’16
Kim Ruffing, Ph.D., P ’16
David Sandberg, M.B.A., P ’11
Mark Shoemaker, M. Arch., P ’18
George White, D. Arts


Office of the President
Kristen Pisani
Executive Assistant to the President
& Board Administrator

Mitchell Hall, Main Floor