Board of Trustees

Ms. Katharine Russell

Photo of Ms. Katharine Russell

Why I am a trustee:
You might say I am paying it backward. My aunt, May Russell, was president of St. Mary's College from 1948-1969 and I am honoring her memory with my service.

Graduated from (and year):
Northwestern University, B.A. (1970)
Boston University, M.S. (1971)
Northwestern University, M.B.A. (1980)
UCLA Writer's Program Certificate in Creative Writing (2009)

Retired biotechnology industry executive and writer (mostly fiction).

When I was in college I studied:

Russo-American relations

Today I wish I had studied:
Biology and the history of science

Favorite book:
Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Favorite film:
Tossup between Patton and Gladiator

Favorite cuisine:

Role model:
My aunt, May Russell

Education/Career Advice for Students:
1) The profession or industry where you will spend your career hasn't been invented yet.
2) Learn how to think critically, and outside the box. Most people don't use their brains for much more than filling up the space between their ears.
3) No matter what you choose for a major, force yourself to learn about Western civilization, the great American experiment, and the scientific method.
4) Be passionate, authentic, original, and engaged.  It's not about your carbon footprint, it's about your value footprint.


Katharine A. Russell holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Northwestern University, an M.A. in journalism from Boston University, and an M.B.A. in marketing from the Kellogg School of Management.  She founded and served as president of Russell-Welsh Strategic Life Science Communications, a public relations and investor relations practice, from 1991-2000 when it was sold to Grey Advertising.  She is currently president of RWWRA Publishing, a strategic marketing and management consulting business in California.

Russell is the niece of former St. Mary’s College of Maryland president May Russell.  She and her mother, Jane Welsh Russell, named the quadrangle between Kent and Calvert halls as well as the May Russell Alumni Lodge.

Russell has been a committee member of The Health Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Committee of Visitors of Goucher College in Baltimore.  She served as a steering committee member for Northwestern University's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences for 13 years. 

May Russell served as a role model for Katharine during her youth, and her affection for the College was cultivated through her aunt’s tireless work on its behalf.  Russell has hosted a gathering of West Coast alumni and delivered an eloquent speech about her Aunt May at the 2004 Alumni Reunion Weekend.

Russell resides in Palm Desert, California, and Baltimore, Maryland.