Led Nation’s Largest Mortuary Science School for 24 Years
EVP George Connick becomes Interim President on January 1
New York, NY – American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service (AAMI) President Mary Margaret (Meg) Dunn announced she is retiring on December 31. An innovator, Ms. Dunn has led the nation’s largest mortuary science school for the last 24 years and created the school’s groundbreaking distance learning program. In all, Ms. Dunn has been with AAMI for 34 years.
Executive Vice President Dr. George P. Connick will serve as Interim President as of New Year’s Day. Ms. Dunn will remain on the AAMI faculty and as a consultant to the school, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees.
“It has been an amazing journey for me. I started as a part-time instructor in 1984, then went on to be Dean of Students, Executive Vice President and President,” Ms. Dunn said in an email to faculty and staff announcing her retirement. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with each and every one of you and appreciated all the opportunities that AAMI has given me. I look forward to many more years of association with AAMI as a consultant and especially as a faculty member.”
Dr. Connick said: “I’m honored to have worked so closely with Meg and seen first-hand how she’s led and nurtured the nation’s finest funeral school in the country. I look forward to working with Meg and the rest of AAMI’s tremendous faculty and staff to ensure not only a seamless transition, but to see that AAMI continues to find the best ways to educate the next generation of America’s funeral directors.”
With Ms. Dunn’s leadership, in 2005 AAMI created an online learning program that allowed the school to dramatically expand enrollment and within five years become the largest funeral school in the United States. AAMI is the oldest and only funeral school in the New York metropolitan area.
Ms. Dunn also implemented dozens of initiatives that made AAMI more accessible for students to attend. Those included replacing the school’s mandatory full-time, block-schedule program with a part-time, flexible schedule on-campus and online. Current and future students may choose from five attendance options: full-time or part-time on campus, full-time or part-time online, or a hybrid of on campus and online.
Ms. Dunn, whose family has been in the funeral business since 1907, is a fourth-generation funeral director. As an educator, she has educated and trained more than 2,200 current and future funeral directors.
Dr. Connick joined AAMI in 2006 as a consultant to help develop the school’s online program and was appointed Executive Vice President in 2012. A graduate of Stanford University, he earned an M.A. from San Jose State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.
During a 31-year association with the University of Maine System, Dr. Connick served as an assistant professor, Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Southern Maine, nine years as President of the University of Maine at Augusta and three years as founder and President of the Education Network of Maine, the statewide distance learning network of the University of Maine System (since re-named University College).
Over the past four decades, Dr. Connick has consulted for more than 50 institutions in 25 states on issues related to distance learning and accreditation. He has also consulted in Canada, Puerto Rico, England and Ireland.
From 1985 to 2001, Dr. Connick served as a team chair for 42 American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) accreditation teams and was a member of the Committee on Accreditation. He served as ABFSE’s Executive Director from 2001 to 2006. He is a former chair of the National Advisory Panel for the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress.
American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service offers its funeral service associate degree program both Online and On-Campus and students may attend either full-time or part-time. Physically located on Manhattan’s West Side and accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), AAMI has been the nation’s leader in Funeral Service Education for over 90 years. AAMI’s website is www.aami.edu