April 11, 2014 — Saint Louis University has named Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., its 33rd president, making him the first permanent lay president in SLU's 196-year history. Dr. Pestello, currently president of the Jesuits’ Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., will succeed Interim President William Kauffman on July 1.
“I am humbled and honored to follow in the footsteps of the Jesuit presidents who have come before me, and I am deeply committed to carrying on the mission they have fostered so well,” Dr. Pestello said.
Dr. Pestello has served as Le Moyne College's first permanent lay president since 2008. 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.
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. He meets regularly with the Jesuit community on campus and has developed a strong working relationship with Catholic religious leaders in Syracuse.
“The Jesuits of the Missouri Province are very happy to welcome Fred Pestello to Saint Louis University," said Jesuit Father Douglas W. Marcouiller, provincial of the Missouri Province Jesuits. "Father Adolfo Nicolas, the Jesuit superior general, recently urged the presidents and board chairs of all Jesuit universities to continue to develop spiritual leadership. That is precisely what Dr. Pestello has done during the past six years as president at Le Moyne. He is deeply committed to SLU's Catholic and Jesuit mission, and we look forward to working with him.”
Born and raised in Cleveland, Dr. Pestello has three degrees in sociology. He earned his bachelor's degree from John Carroll University in 1974, his master's degree from the University of Akron in 1981 and his doctoral degree through a joint program of the University of Akron and Kent State University in 1985.
“My Jesuit education was a transformative experience for me, and I credit the success I have achieved in my career to the rigorous education and formation I received as an undergraduate at John Carroll,” Dr. Pestello said. “I am looking forward to working with everyone in the Saint Louis University community to ensure that SLU will continue to offer students a rigorous, transformative education based on the Jesuit tradition of forming students to be men and women for and with others.” [Source: Saint Louis University]