HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A new era is beginning at Holyoke Community College, as a new president is taking office. Monday is the first day on the job for Christina Royal, who was approved for the job by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education back in November.

Royal is the fourth president in the 70-year history of Holyoke Community College, and the first woman to hold the position.

She previously served as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota.

Christina Royal chosen as new president of Holyoke Community College

Royal replaces William Messner, who retired in August after 12 years as president of HCC. William Fogarty had been serving as interim president of the college since Messner’s departure.

Holyoke Community College serves about 11,500 students every year.