Saint Louis University, where I spent a great four years and graduated with a degree in philosophy, today announced its new president: Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D. Pestello, currently president of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY, succeeds Fr. Lawrence Biondi, S.J., and is the first permanent lay president in the school's history.
According to the University press release:
Prior to becoming Le Moyne's president, Dr. Pestello spent nearly 25 years as a faculty member and provost at the University of Dayton, a Catholic, Marianist research institution in Ohio. He also is a graduate of John Carroll University, a Jesuit institution in Cleveland.
"Dr. Pestello stood out among an outstanding pool of candidates, and we are very excited for what the future holds for Saint Louis University under his leadership," said J. Joe Adorjan, chairman of the University's Board of Trustees. "Dr. Pestello has spent his entire career in Catholic higher education, and he understands and embraces SLU's Jesuit mission."
Dr. Pestello's first major undertaking at Le Moyne was a campus-wide initiative called "OneLeMoyne." More than 100 faculty, staff, students, alumni and other stakeholders participated in the collaborative and inclusive effort, which led to a new vision statement and strategic plan for the college.
Under Dr. Pestello's leadership, Le Moyne has enrolled record numbers of students, nearly tripled the size of its endowment and pursued a number of campus improvement projects. A capital campaign, which had started shortly before his arrival, closed at nearly twice its original goal. On the academic side, the college established a new business school and revised its core curriculum. Le Moyne's national rankings also rose.
It's quite an auspicious time to be a Billiken; I wonder if Dr. Pestello saw last night's game...