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Meet David A. Armstrong, STU’s 10th President

By June 20, 2018Highlights

The Board of Trustees of St. Thomas University (STU) today announced the appointment of David A. Armstrong, J.D. as its next university president. Armstrong will assume official duties Aug. 1, replacing outgoing President Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale, who announced his retirement in 2017.

Armstrong comes to STU from Thomas More College (TMC), a Catholic liberal arts college of the Diocese of Covington in Crestview Hills, Ky., where he has been president since 2013 after a decade in various leadership roles at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio. He has dedicated his career to making sure small, faith-based colleges not only survive but thrive in the new landscape of higher education.

During his tenure at TMC, his commitment to the transformative power of higher education was instrumental in increasing enrollment, in addition to corporate partnerships and collegiate program agreements with other institutions through new academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular programs. His leadership guided TMC into the future with a comprehensive strategic plan which emphasized student success, faculty innovation and increased donor engagement and giving. He is also a nationally-recognized speaker on future trends of higher education law and Title IX issues.

“I cannot think of anyone more qualified, experienced and committed than David Armstrong,” said John Dooner, chairman of STU’s Board of Trustees. “He will take Msgr. Casale’s legacy to the next level.”

President Msgr. Casale reiterated Dooner’s sentiments about Armstrong saying, “I am confident that he will be an outstanding president at St. Thomas University.”

A Presidential Search Committee, chaired by Joseph Lacher, member of STU’s Board of Trustees, selected Armstrong from a pool of national candidates as one of four finalists who visited campus in April and met with members of the board of trustees, students, faculty and staff. He said it is an honor and a privilege to be STU’s next president, and looks forward to taking the helm of what is to become the leading Catholic university in the Southeast.

“I am honored to have been given the opportunity to lead this university to the next level of success and excellence,” Armstrong said.

Throughout his professional career, Armstrong has been recognized as the recipient of the following awards: “Carpe Diem Award” (highest distinction awarded to graduating senior), Mercyhurst University (1986); Rhodes Scholar Candidate; GTE Academic All-American; Member, Football Hall of Fame, Mercyhurst University (1991), Charter Member Athletic Hall of Fame, Mercyhurst University (1996), Member, Alumni Hall of Fame, St. Peter Chanel (OH) High School (2009), and Distinguished Alumni Award for Outstanding Service in a Chosen Field, Mercyhurst University (2015).

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Armstrong holds a Juris Doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Accounting from Mercyhurst University. He and his wife, Leslie, have two children, David, a sophomore at TMC, and Johanna, a high school senior.

Armstrong will be on campus Monday, June 4, for a town hall meeting in the Goldbloom Convocation Hall. All students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend the town hall and to ask questions, share ideas, concerns and suggestions with Armstrong.

Marlen Lebish

Author Marlen Lebish

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