The Murray Institute's Leadership

After Tom McCarver’s founding work, Sr. Mary Katherine Hamilton became the second director of the Murray Institute from 1994 until spring 2000. The Murray Institute’s Charter and By-laws underwent a review and revision during Mary Katherine's final year.

Dr. Margaret Reif served as director from the summer of 2000 through the summer of 2007. In addition to welcoming Cohort 10, she oversaw the development and delivery of Cohorts 11-18 and the expansion of Murray funding to include certain non-degree projects (see “Murray Funded Projects”) and the Murray Scholars program, a plan to support doctoral dissertations on Catholic education. In 2010, this program was expanded to include support for other kinds of research and scholarship that advance the mission and goals of Catholic educational ministries on the local, regional and national level. See Murray Research Fellows.

Dr. Catherine Cory, associate professor of Theology and chair of the History department, has served as director of the Murray Institute since summer 2007. Responding to emerging needs in Catholic education, Dr. Cory has overseen the delivery of several new graduate programs, including masters of arts degrees in education and a religious education degree as well as graduate certificate programs in specialty areas such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Math Education, and K-12 Learning Technology to name a few. In fact, the list of graduate program offerings that are delivered by the Murray Institute has grown substantially under Dr. Cory’s leadership. She also developed the Pastoral Spanish program, which provides conversational Spanish and cultural competencies to educational ministers of the Archdiocese.

The Murray Faculty Committee is comprised of members who represent the University of St. Thomas at large, the schools office of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the St. Paul Seminary/School of Divinity, and the University of St. Thomas’ College of Education, Leadership & Counseling. 

We want to offer a special thank you to these past directors of the Murray Institute for their wisdom and insight in leading the institute through its formative years and for the time and talents they brought to their work. The Murray Institute would not be what it is without them. We also want to thank the Murray Institute Faculty Committee, which plays a significant role in the leadership of the Murray Institute. They give countless hours each year to discussion, planning, implementation, and assessment of Murray Institute’s projects and programs.


Dr. Catherine Cory
Director of the Murray Institute