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CW President Del Balzo Retires Year End

Friday, November 10, 2023
CW President Del Balzo Retires Year End

The College of Westchester’s Board of Trustees announced President Mary Beth Del Balzo is retiring from her role as President, effective December 31, 2023 but will remain on the Board of Trustees as President Emeritus, on the CW Charitable Foundation Board, continuing to create outreach to the local, regional and national community.  The Board also announced that they unanimously approved the Appointment of Karen J. Smith to President of The College of Westchester, effective January 1, 2024.

Mary Beth Del Balzo

Ms. Del Balzo has been with CW since 1977, full-time since 1982, and President since 2014. 

Prior to serving as President, Ms. Del Balzo worked in various positions at the college, including Senior Executive Vice President, overseeing development of all facets of CW's distance education division (which launched in 2011), as well as overseeing and expanding CW's high school, corporate and community relations. Prior to that, she has served in many roles across the college, including Vice President, Assistant Vice President for Student Life & Community Outreach, Director of the Counseling Center, Assistant to the President, Assistant to the Chairman, Admissions Counselor, High School Admissions Counselor, Director of the High School Admissions Team as well as an instructor and Chairperson of the Computer Systems Management Department. Ms. Del Balzo holds a BA in English from Fairfield University, a Master’s in Social Work from Fordham University, a certificate in Computer Programming and Systems Analysis from Control Data Institute, and is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist and hypnotherapist.  

Other affiliations include board member of The College of Westchester Charitable Foundation, board member of the Association of Private Colleges, former board member of the Westchester County Association, a member of the Business Council of Westchester, the National Association of Social Workers and New York State Clinical Social Workers Society and former president and board member of the Westchester Putnam Rockland Counseling Association.

Ms. Del Balzo has a small, private psychotherapy practice in New Jersey. She is mother to two grown children and their husbands, two wonderful grandsons, and two dogs. She is passionate about equity in education, CW students, the surrounding community, her clients, music, and her family.

President Del Balzo stated, “Serving as President has been the greatest privilege of my professional life.  Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work alongside some great individuals, our dedicated faculty, staff, as well as students and alumni, all who are deeply committed to the values and mission, and help sculpt CW’s vision for the future.” 

Karen J. Smith

Holding the position of President is one that Karen Smith is well-versed with as she served as President of CW from 1997 to 2014.  She stepped back from the day-to-day operations of the College but remained actively involved as Vice Chair of the Board.  Most recently she has been back on campus serving as Chief Operating Officer.

Karen has been with the college since 1985.  Throughout her 38 years she held various leadership roles lending her strategic mindset and expertise to help shape the vision and fulfill the mission.  She too is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and diverse college community and has a proven track record of building collaborative relationships with faculty, staff and students, and is committed to supporting the success and well-being of all. 

In addition to serving as Vice Chair of the Board, and Chief Operating Officer, Mrs. Smith held many progressive positions over the years at the College including, Senior Executive Vice President, Vice President, Assistant Vice President, Dean of Administrative and Student Services, and Admissions Counselor.

Mrs. Smith earned her MBA with an emphasis in Leadership from Walden University. She also holds an A.A.S. degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, an A.O.S. degree from The College of Westchester and a B.S. degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Concordia College in Bronxville, New York.

Other affiliations include founding Catie's Cause, a non-profit to honor her daughter Catie.  A Summa Cum Laude, honors graduate of The College of Westchester, Catie lost her life in December of 2020 at just  20 years old to acetaminophen poisoning.  Catie’s Cause builds public awareness leading to safer use of acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, and over 600 other medications.  Karen recently stepped down from Chair of the Board & Executive Committee Member of Several Sources Shelters, where she served in a voluntary capacity for almost 30 years.  Karen also currently serves as Vice President of The College of Westchester Charitable Foundation which she helped found over 16 years ago.  She also held positions on the APC Colleges Board as an Executive Board Member and Secretary of the Board, as well as the Advisory Board of St. John’s Academy where her two daughters attended grade school. 

In her spare time, Karen is devoted to: her daughter Stephanie, her husband Dale, and seeing Catie’s Cause put an end to senseless injuries and death.  She is always grateful and likes to develop synergies through an innovative approach to problem solving.

Smith is looking forward to her new role, stating: "I am truly excited to embrace the role of president once again.  It’s been invigorating to step back into the day to day and work alongside our amazing students, faculty, and staff. Together, we will embark on a journey of learning, innovation, and shared success. The future is bright, and I am eager to contribute to CW’s 108 year history however I can."


The College of Westchester (CW) has been educating students in the tristate area for over 100 years. Located in White Plains, CW is an associate and bachelor degree-granting, private college offering programs in business marketing and management, accounting, medical assisting, medical office and coding, digital marketing and information technology.  Certificate programs are offered for adult students who may want to brush up on skills or advance their knowledge in a short amount of time.  Flexibility is key at CW – coursework is offered during the day, online, as well as evenings and some classes are even offered on Saturdays.  

Our small class sizes mean high-touch, hands-on and experiential learning by dedicated instructors with advanced degrees.  CW staff believe student services are of paramount importance for the CW student experience.  CW offers a community of academic advisors, success coaches, tutors, career counselors and the concierge desk in the student services center; these services are available to students across all areas of the college including those participating in online instruction.  All CW curriculum is designed specifically to prepare students to meet the needs of regional employers.  At CW, Department Chairpersons work with the CW Advisory Council comprised of local business, technology, allied health, and education professionals who provide meaningful input that shapes CW’s career-focused programs of study.  Affordability is at the forefront of CW’s concern for students as well, which includes a wide variety of assistance programs to take advantage of including government grants, loans, CW Scholarships and grants, to name a few.  We pride ourselves on our powerful and affordable private education.  One hundred percent of freshmen receive some form of financial assistance.

Additionally, CWPro, a division of The College of Westchester, offers micro-credentials designed to provide fast and flexible, in-demand skills and industry specific certifications and knowledge to upskill and reskill using an asynchronous online education model.

For more information, call 914-831-0200 or visit www.cw.edu