As President of Emmanuel College, Sister Janet Eisner, SNDdeN, has provided steady guidance and demonstrated remarkable leadership.
Throughout her 43-year tenure, Sister Janet faced numerous challenges—and made every critical decision that was needed. No president has served as long or played such a vital role in the growth and success of an educational institution.
After graduating from Emmanuel and teaching in secondary schools, Sister Janet was missioned to the College—and at the age of 26 became the Admissions Director. In that role, she actively recruited talented, young students. Sister Janet is quick to acknowledge the encouragement and generosity of those who served as her mentors, colleagues and friends during that era.
Following her inauguration as President in 1979, Sister Janet demonstrated the vision and integrity required to keep Emmanuel strong, prepared and thriving. She took inspiration—then as now—from the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who founded Emmanuel in 1919 with a spirit of adaptation and foresight. “They believed that education is the greatest work on earth,” says Sister Janet. “It is—because you change people’s lives.”
Our Second Founder, as Sister Janet is known, has always looked ahead. “Our past is an inspiring prologue to our second century,” said Sister Janet in 2019, Emmanuel’s Centennial Year, which coincided with her 40th anniversary as President. “Emmanuel, God with us, guides us today and in the future.”
The country’s longest-serving woman college president says she never lost sight of the mission. “When I was inaugurated in 1979, I had no idea where the path would lead. But I had a strong belief in the power of education to transform lives and build a more just and peaceful world.”