Where am I?

About Dr. Pressimone

To learn more about Dr. Pressimone, read his Biography and welcome message, A New Journey Begins.


A New Journey Begins
July 1, 2014

This day marks an exciting time for me and my family, personally, and I hope for the Fontbonne community as a whole. I have already found the University family to be warm, welcoming and ready to serve with me to build a bright future.

The work that lies ahead is challenging to be sure. The value and expense of a college degree is coming under great scrutiny by critics of higher education. To be fair, some of the criticism is deserved, but there is also ample evidence that a college degree adds value to our lives in so many ways.

A Fontbonne degree, richly infused with the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, stands apart.Our students have the opportunity to grow, discover and explore in an environment that both nurtures and challenges. Our charge is to be attentive to the quality of our programs and the student development experience. We owe it to our students and their families to deliver the best possible education in return for their investment of time and resources. We are well positioned to do so with faculty who both care for our students and who continue to innovate and keep curriculum relevant and current. We have staff tirelessly dedicated to our students’ success and helping them reach their full potential. We have support from alumni, the Sisters, our board, donors and others. At this time, we are all called to reach higher.

For my part, I have much listening to do. I want to hear from our many constituents about opportunities for success and areas of challenge. I want to encourage innovative thinking that leads to market opportunities in new and existing programs. I want to seek investors who can fund continued growth. I want to reverse enrollment trends and create a strong financial base. I want to give our talented faculty the resources they need to be the engines of growth and innovation.

Cathy and I and our children have been blessed in many ways. We are confident that many more blessings await us as our journey takes us to Fontbonne and the St. Louis community. I am humbled to serve as Fontbonne's 14th president, but I am also filled with confidence about the future. This University will celebrate its centennial in 2023. Together, we will build a strong and vibrant Fontbonne positioned for a second century of education and service rooted in rich Catholic and CSJ traditions.

J. Michael Pressimone, Ed.D.
President, Fontbonne University

J. Michael Pressimone, Ed.D.

J. Michael (Mike) Pressimone, Ed.D., was selected president of Fontbonne University on Feb. 1, 2014, and assumed office on July 1, 2014. He is the university’s 14th president.

Prior to coming to Fontbonne, Dr. Pressimone’s higher education career spanned more than three decades. Immediately before taking office, he served as vice president of advancement at Alvernia University in Reading, Pa., where he oversaw fundraising and alumni activities. He was responsible for the design, implementation and completion of a $27 million campaign, the largest in Alvernia’s history, which concluded in October 2013, having raised over $31.6 million. Before his position at Alvernia, Dr. Pressimone served as vice president for institutional advancement at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC, and Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa. He has been active in professional organizations and was a founding member and officer of the Susquehanna Valley (Pa.) Planned Giving Council.

Dr. Pressimone has served on a number of nonprofit boards including the North American Center for Marianist Studies (Dayton, Ohio), Berks Youth Chorus (Reading, Pa.), the Development Advisory Board of the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Reading, Pa.) and the Berks County Chapter of the American Red Cross, as well as many other organizations in the communities where he has lived.

Dr. Pressimone and his wife, Cathy, have been very active in parish activities, including sacramental instruction, Eucharistic ministry, RCIA, and marriage mentoring and mentor training. He is also very active in music ministry as a cantor and guitarist. He and Cathy have been married for 32 years and are blessed with 12 children and one grandchild.

He holds an Associate of Arts degree from Catonsville Community College (now known as the Community College of Baltimore County), a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Catholic University of America, a Master of Arts in Leadership in Higher Education from Regis University, and a doctorate in Higher Education and Organizational Change from Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill.

Dr. Pressimone enjoys time with family, woodworking/home projects, running, golf, music and acting.

Download Dr. Pressimone's full CV (PDF)