Dr. Kevin Gyolai announced as BSM’s president elect

Today, on March 13, Dr. Gyolai was announced to be the school's choice for Dr. Tift's replacement.
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Mack Nevells

“I felt a real need and a calling to give back to a community that provided me with so much.” Dr. Kevin Gyolai speaks of his roots of Catholic education—the path that ultimately led him to the position of president-elect of Benilde-St. Margaret’s.

In the past months, suspense and curiosity has been building throughout the BSM community as to who will fill Dr. Bob Tift’s position as president in the 2014-2015 school year, and on March 13, 2014 the Board of Directors announced their decision to hire Dr. Kevin Gyolai as the new president of BSM.

Dr. Gyolai received his Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from North Dakota State University, Fargo and spent the following years in a field of research. Despite his passion for science, he declares that leadership is his true love. “I have leadership inside of me, and it’s just going to come out,” said Dr. Gyolai.

Dr. Gyolai’s exposure to the sciences through liberal arts education makes him more receptive to BSM’s atmosphere. “One thing I want the community to know is that my work as a scientist was based in the liberal arts framework. So in my mind the liberal arts and sciences weren’t separate, they were together. And I know that’s the culture here at BSM,” said Dr. Gyolai.

The past 23 years of Dr. Gyolai’s career have been spent in higher education; it is this past experience that gives him perspective on leading an organization. “As a new leader, especially at a president level, you have to be careful about coming in and thinking you have all of the solutions,” said Gyolai.

However, he is not without a clear vision for BSM’s future: to draw families in through strategic enrollment, engage in opportunities to raise external funds, and keep Benilde-St. Margaret’s tuition affordable so that all families have the opportunity to enroll.

Dr. Gyolai hopes to maximize BSM’s enrollment by making sure that families are not dissuaded by a rising tuition. “[BSM needs to balance] the accessibility that Catholic schools are known for and proud of with a tuition model that drives our operating budget,” said Dr. Gyolai.

Dr. Gyolai sees this transition to BSM as a natural progression for his career and as well as for his family. As he makes plans for this new transition, he hopes to settle his four children into the BSM community. “The job found me, the opportunity found me…It’s part of why I believe it was a tap on the shoulder by the Holy Spirit to have me in this position right now,” said Dr. Gyolai.