J. Michael Pressimone, Ed.D
J. Michael Pressimone, Ed.D., became the 15th president of Notre Dame College on April 8, 2020. Prior to joining Notre Dame, Dr. Pressimone served as the president of Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Mo., since 2014.
A native of Baltimore, Md., Dr. Pressimone was a first-generation college student, as are about 40 percent of Notre Dame College students. His higher education career spans more than three decades. He served as vice president of advancement at Alvernia University in Reading, Pa.; at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C.; and at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa.
With an extensive background and experience in fundraising, he successfully led the largest comprehensive campaign at Alvernia, surpassing $31 million. In that role, he also oversaw the offices of development, alumni relations and marketing and communications. In a similar role at Elizabethtown College, he designed, implemented and managed an endowment campaign with an initial goal of $20 million that raised more than $26 million.
Dr. Pressimone is a strong relationship builder with a reputation for teamwork, collaboration and an ability and passion for bringing students, faculty, staff and the community together to achieve mutually beneficial goals. He also has been an active voice in issues of diversity and racial justice. He has written in support of greater diversity and inclusion in both the news media and for his campus constituency. He is active in the interfaith community working to promote harmony among all people of faith.
Dr. Pressimone and his wife Cathy have been married for 38 years and have 12 children and six grandchildren with three more on the way.
Dr. Pressimone 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 (Washington, D.C.), a Master of Arts in Leadership in Higher Education from Regis University (Denver, Colo.) and a doctorate in Higher Education and Organizational Change from Benedictine University (Lisle, Ill.).
The College Story
Notre Dame College provides a career-focused liberal arts education, so students are prepared to be successful in their chosen fields; service learning and a values-based curriculum, so students get real-world work experience; and caring personal attention in the classroom and in extracurricular activities, so students develop as innovative spirits.
Founded as an all-women’s school in 1922 by the Sisters of Notre Dame, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. Notre Dame became coeducational in 2001 and since then, total enrollment has grown from 875 to nearly 1,700. But it has never lost sight of its focus on helping students succeed in school, contribute to their communities, deepen their respect for others and become good citizens for life.
Located in South Euclid, Ohio, the 53-acre campus is in a residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from downtown Cleveland and all the excitement and cultural wealth of the city, such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the Cleveland Metroparks, several professional sports teams, and University Circle, one of the richest cultural, theatrical, entertainment, healthcare, and employment regions in the nation.
Today, Notre Dame College offers stimulating academics, personalized attention, small class sizes, NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics and active student life programs. A snapshot of a recent traditional class for the Notre Dame student population shows: 45 percent female, 55 percent male; 47 percent traditional minority; 55 percent student-athletes; 54 percent live on campus; 81 percent of freshmen applicants are accepted for admission. Thirty-six percent of the students are the first in their family to attend college. The student body represents about 33 states and 24 foreign countries.