HTI Alumni

Milagros Peña

Milagros Peña

President of Purchase College, SUNY

Field(s) of Study: Ethics, Church History, and Religion & Society 

Dr. Milagros (Milly) Peña is the sixth president of Purchase College, SUNY and the first Latina president in the SUNY System. The daughter of Dominican immigrants, who was the first in her family to graduate from college, she has a deep and personal understanding of the power and importance of education.  An accomplished scholar who has published widely in her field, she received her doctorate and master’s degree in Sociology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Peña also earned an MDiv degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York and a BA from Iona College. Her book publications include: Theologies and Liberation in Peru: The Role of Ideas in Social Movements (Temple University Press, 1995) and Latina Activists Across Borders: Grassroots Women’s Organizing in Mexico and Texas (Duke University Press, 2007). She is also author or co-author of three additional books and over forty journal articles, book chapters, and reports. Peña is currently working on a book tentatively titled “Weaving the Fabric of Latinx Religion within U.S Society: A Chicago Story” with Ariana Monique Salazar and Edwin I. Hernández.

Prior to joining Purchase College, Peña served as Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the University of California Riverside. Before joining UC Riverside, Peña spent 16 years at the University of Florida, ultimately serving as the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.