Gerard Rooney to lead St. John Fisher College - Catholic Courier

Gerard Rooney to lead St. John Fisher College

Gerard J. Rooney will succeed Donald Bain as president of St. John Fisher College, according to a March 19 announcement from the Pittsford college.

Rooney, who currently is the college’s executive vice president for enrollment, advancement and planning, said he was honored to have been chosen to lead the college, a role he will take on July 1.

"I believe strongly in the college’s Basilian heritage and mission, have great respect for my faculty and staff colleagues and have pride in the accomplishments of our students and alumni," Rooney said in a March 19 statement. "I look forward to collaborating with the campus community as we work together to realize our common goal — Fisher’s continued success."

Rooney’s selection as the college’s seventh president comes after a six-month nationwide search for a replacement for Bain, who had led the college since 2004 and will retire this June, according to Victor Salerno and Martin Birmingham, chair and vice chair, respectively, of Fisher’s board of trustees. Rooney was chosen because of his proven track record at Fisher, where he led key strategic initiatives for nearly 20 years, Salerno and Birmingham said in a March 19 joint statement.

"The state of the college is strong and the board is confident that under Gerry’s leadership, Fisher will continue to enjoy significant progress related to academic program growth and development, enrollment, institutional advancement and student success," Salerno and Birmingham stated. "His dedication to the college’s Catholic heritage and to the core values of its founders of teaching goodness, discipline and knowledge, along with his demonstrated commitment to our students, make him the ideal choice to lead at this important time in the college’s history."

Rooney holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Villanova University; a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from Fairfield University; a doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy from the University at Buffalo; and a certificate in higher-education leadership from Harvard University. He is a member of the Rochester-based boards of directors of McQuaid Jesuit High School, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Goodwill of the Finger Lakes. He also is a member of the board of advisers for the National Research Center for College & University Admissions and is a peer evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

He and his wife, Susan, reside in Pittsford and have four children, two of whom graduated from Fisher.

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