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La Salle University Picks First Layperson, Female President

PHILADELPHIA — After 152 years of brothers at the helm, La Salle University has appointed a lay woman as its president.

The Roman Catholic university in Philadelphia announced Tuesday that Colleen Hanycz will take over in July.

She’s currently in charge at Brescia University College in London, Ontario. The Catholic school is Canada’s only women’s university.

The chairman of La Salle’s board called Hanycz an innovative leader with an impressive record of positive change.

La Salle has twice had laypeople serve as interim president — James Gallagher, currently, and Nicholas Giordano in 1998-1999 — but never on a permanent basis.

A woman hasn’t led the university in either capacity.

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