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Bundschuh to retire in June
Marymount University president most proud of leaving behind academic, financial stability
Just months after overseeing the completion of Marymount University’s most ambitious construction initiative in 40 years, Dr. James E. Bundschuh, president of the Arlington university, announced Monday that he will retire from his position June 30.
“I have had the privilege of seeing Marymount through the first decade of the 21st century and am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish,” Bundschuh said in a university press release. “I am confident that Marymount is positioned to achieve even greater levels of excellence and distinction in the future.”
Hired in 2001, Bundschuh, 69, oversaw Marymount as it achieved record enrollments, grew its campus ministry program and, just this past October, completed the “26th Street Project,” which added a new residence hall, academic building, parking garage and plaza to the campus map. He also expanded Marymount’s academic offerings to include an undergraduate honors program and the university’s first two doctoral programs.
Marymount’s board of trustees has begun a national search for the university’s sixth president. According to the university, the board will use a search firm and has assembled a committee, which includes trustees and campus representatives, to evaluate applicants.
Upon leaving Marymount, Bundschuh and his wife of 46 years, Lois, will return to friends and family — especially grandchildren — in St. Louis sometime this summer. He has no plans to work, but no plans not to, either.
“I probably won’t like not working, so you never know,” he said.
After a decade at Marymount, Bundschuh’s departure will leave a void.
He’s a “no-nonsense guy,” said Youth Apostle Father David Sharland, Marymount campus minister. “There’s a refreshing sense of directness. He’s not a guy with airs. He’s down-to-earth and he doesn’t like to complicate things.”
Bundschuh’s commitment to his faith is evident in his work. By adding philosophy and theology requirements to Marymount’s core curriculum “he has worked very hard to strengthen the Catholic identity of the institution,” Father Sharland said. He supported campus ministry, which has, in 15 years, gone from being “in the closet” to “a flourishing department with eight staff members.”
And Bundschuh’s love for Marymount’s students is portrayed in the time he spends with them.
“He has a real desire to interact with the students,” Father Sharland said. “It’s not uncommon (for him) to talk to them or share a light moment or a joke.”
A former chemistry teacher, Bundschuh occasionally interacted with students by taking classes with them, including woodworking, pottery and portrait drawing.
During his 10-year tenure, Bundschuh is most proud of having secured Marymount academically and financially.
“We’ve maintained and hired really good faculty, the facilities are really great and we’ve really bolstered the Catholic tradition here,” he said.
Bundschuh said he will miss the excitement surrounding the Washington, D.C., area, personal friends and the university.
“We’ve had a really good time,” he said. “I just really enjoy coming to work. Hopefully I’ll find something (in the future) that’ll keep me just as interested and active.”