MAY 2009 | VOL. 9 NO. 9  
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Two New Presidents Inaugurated in April 2009
 Deanna I. Howes
Manager of Information Services

On April 24, 2009, Dr. Fred Pestello and Rev. Michael Engh, S.J. were inaugurated as the new presidents of Le Moyne College and Santa Clara University, respectively.

As the first lay person to take on the role, Dr. Pestello serves as the Syracuse institution’s 13th president. He began his tenure at Le Moyne at the beginning of the academic year, in September 2008. Previously, he worked at the University of Dayton for 24 years, most recently serving as the institution’s provost.

Dr. Pestello earned his doctorate in sociology from the University of Akron-Kent State, but is also a product of Jesuit higher education; he received his bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University.

Dr. Fred Pestello
Photo courtesy of Le Moyne College
Office of Communications
In his inauguration speech, Dr. Pestello emphasized Le Moyne’s Jesuit history and tradition. He said, “Indeed, there is much to celebrate. While we are forever indebted to those who founded the College, we also treasure those who have dedicated their lives to serving Le Moyne and we deeply appreciate all who continue to support and participate in our work.

“We are inspired by the tens of thousands who have been educated here and gone on to do so much good—right here in Syracuse and in so many places around the world. We are pleased to be a part of this beautiful region. And we are perhaps most profoundly grateful for our foundational connection to those men whose remarkable spirit fosters such dedication, generosity, and excellence: our Sponsoring Order, the Society of Jesus.”

In January 2009, Fr. Engh began his tenure as the 28th Jesuit president to lead Santa Clara. Most recently, he served as the dean of the college of liberal arts at Loyola Marymount University, where he also conducted research on the history of Los Angeles.

He is a graduate of Loyola University of Los Angeles, later renamed Loyola Marymount University. He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 1981 and served as the rector of Loyola’s Jesuit community in the 1990’s.

Rev. Michael Engh, S.J.
Photo by Charles Barry
Fr. Engh spoke about his vision for Santa Clara to use its California locale as a basis for creating a sustainable future, in line with Jesuit ideals. He said, “Santa Clara University is uniquely positioned to make a significant contribution to achieving a more just and sustainable future. As the Jesuit University of the Silicon Valley, I believe we can lead and participate in the Valley’s fast growing interest in sustainability, green energy, and environmental protection.

“We can partner with institutions and government agencies and corporations with the potential to solve the world’s problems through the invention and innovation of all kinds. And the value-added element that Santa Clara brings to this “Green Wave” is the voice of environmental ethics, built on the theological and philosophical foundations that are fundamental to our Jesuit and Catholic tradition.”

We at AJCU congratulate Dr. Pestello and Fr. Engh on their presidencies and wish them every blessing, success and happiness in their new leadership roles.

The text of Dr. Pestello’s and Fr. Engh’s speeches were provided by Le Moyne College’s and Santa Clara University’s respective Offices of Communications.