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Kirkwood Holds Presidential Inauguration for Dr. Kristie Fisher


Ceremony formally installs Fisher as sixth president in institution’s history

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Feb. 21, 2024)–Kirkwood Community College held an inauguration ceremony for new president Dr. Kristie Fisher today at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center on the institution’s main campus in Cedar Rapids. The event formally installed Fisher as the sixth president in Kirkwood’s history.

Attended by community and business leaders, college faculty and staff, as well as alumni, the ceremony featured remarks from various members of the Kirkwood community. Those who spoke represented key groups from around the institution including Jim Mollenhauer from the Kirkwood Board of Trustees, Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jennifer Bradley, American Sign Language Associate Professor Julia Rabe, Criminal Justice student Ellen Waynawhere, and Kirkwood alum Benjamin Smart (’07). Following their remarks, Dr. Fisher was presented with the presidential medallion, which signifies the transfer of the responsibility of office and a commitment to promote and maintain the institution’s values.

In her speech to those attending, Fisher promised to uphold Kirkwood’s commitment to serve the people of the college’s seven-county area of Linn, Johnson, Jones, Iowa, Cedar, Benton, and Washington Counties.

“Today, I pledge to all of you that I will always honor the traditions of Kirkwood while we evolve to meet the challenges of a changing world,” said Fisher. “These traditions of excellence, collaboration, service and innovation are what makes Kirkwood who we are. I always remember that we are Kirkwood because, like former Governor Samuel J. Kirkwood, we strive to foster hope, talent, and opportunities for all people.”

A graduate of Kirkwood, Fisher became president of the college after having served as president of Iowa Valley Community College in Marshalltown since 2019. She returned to Kirkwood after having served two previous stints at the college. From 1995 to 2000, Fisher served as the annual giving director for the college’s foundation. Following a four-year period as the director of community relations with College Community School District in Cedar Rapids, she came back to Kirkwood in 2004 to serve as the director of special projects and assistant to the president under Mick Starcevich’s leadership. In 2006, Fisher was named Kirkwood’s vice president of student services, a position she held until 2014. She then became the Senior Director/Assistant Vice President of National Associations and Market Engagement for ACT, Inc. in Iowa City, where she stayed until being named president of Iowa Valley.

Fisher officially began her tenure on Oct. 30. The college announced her as its next president at an event last May, following an extensive nationwide search. She succeeded Lori Sundberg, Kirkwood’s first female president, who retired on Oct. 27.