News & Features
Fontbonne Names J. Michael Pressimone as 14th President
Currently the vice president of advancement at Alvernia University in Reading, Pa., Pressimone has served in various roles in education and higher education for 33 years. Pressimone designed and launched Alvernia’s first comprehensive capital campaign, oversaw the offices of development, alumni relations, and communications and marketing, and served as a key member of the president’s cabinet. Previously, he served as vice president for institutional advancement at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., and the same position at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa.
“I am humbled that the board of trustees has selected me as the next president of the university and truly excited to follow in the footsteps of a great president like Denny Golden,” said Pressimone. “My wife, Cathy, and I experienced such warm and welcoming feelings from the Fontbonne community: faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees, regents, members of the Fontbonne Community Connection and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. What the sisters founded over 90 years ago continues as a vibrant and relevant university today. We look forward to bringing our family to Fontbonne as we begin our work together this summer.”
Pressimone earned a doctorate of education in higher education and organizational change from Benedictine University in 2013, a master’s degree from Regis University in 2009, and a bachelor’s in fine arts from the Catholic University of America in 1981.
“We believe Michael will lead the institution to its next level of success through entrepreneurial, transformative and collaborative leadership,” said Gary Krosch, chair of the university’s board of trustees. “We searched for a servant-leader who is transparent, forward-thinking and passionate, and who can rigorously advance our goal of becoming a preferred destination for traditional students as well as adult learners.”
The university conducted a yearlong, nationwide search after Golden, the first male, married lay president of the university, announced his retirement after 47 years in higher education. A search committee composed of board members and Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, as well as individuals representing faculty, staff, students and the university’s council of regents, worked with a search consulting firm to determine appropriate candidates.
“We looked at numerous well-qualified candidates from universities and other organizations around the country,” said search committee chair and board member John Capellupo. “The search committee is very satisfied with the breadth and quality of this search, and we’re thrilled with the results. Michael will serve Fontbonne well.”
The board of trustees voted on the selection of Pressimone at a scheduled meeting Feb. 1, 2014.