Dr. Hugh F. Lena, Providence College provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, announced today that Dr. Aurelie A. Hagstrom ’85, associate professor of theology, has been appointed the College’s first William J. and MaryAnn Christie Endowed Chair in Catholic and Dominican Studies.
Dr. Hagstrom, who will serve for a three-year term, will work with Rev. James Cuddy, O.P. ’98, vice president for mission and ministry, to develop programming, lectures, and activities to increase awareness of the Catholic and Dominican mission within the College community. “We’re thrilled to have Dr. Hagstrom on board as the first Christie Chair,” Fr. Cuddy said. “Her love for Providence College and its Catholic and Dominican mission and identity match that of Bill and Maryann Christie. I’m excited to work with her in the years to come.” The endowed chair, which is the College’s fourth, was made possible by a gift from William J. Christie ’61 & ’11Hon. and his wife, Maryann.
She is currently a resident of Providence. Following her graduation from PC, she received a doctor of sacred theology degree from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Dominican university in Rome also known as the Angelicum, in 1991. She then joined the faculty at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill. She left her tenured position there to become the second lay woman to teach theology full-time at PC in 2003. She later became the first woman to serve as department chair.
For three years, from 2013-2016, Dr. Hagstrom served as faculty resident director of the PC Center for Theology and Religious Studies in Rome, PC’s signature study abroad program. Her research specialties are ecclesiology and Mariology. She is the author of The Emerging Laity: Vocation, Mission, and Spirituality (Paulist Press, 2010).
Founded in 1917, Providence College is the only college or university in the United States administered by the Dominican Friars and has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 4,000 students. Providence College consistently has been ranked among the top five regional universities in the North according to U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.”