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The Notre Dame College Board of Trustees is proud to announce that it has unanimously appointed J. Michael Pressimone, Ed.D., as the 15th president of the College, succeeding Thomas Kruczek.

Pressimone has served as the president of Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Mo., since 2014. He will officially assume his duties at Notre Dame College on July 1, 2020. Long-time Notre Dame College faculty and administrative leader John Galovic, Ed.D., has served as Interim President of Notre Dame College since Kruczek’s departure in May 2019.

Pressimone is a native of Baltimore, Md., and was a first-generation college student, as are about 40 percent of Notre Dame College students. 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 (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.). In 2018, he received the Benedictine University Alumni Achievement Visionary Award.

“We are delighted that after a thorough and thoughtful national search, Dr. Pressimone emerged as the best fit for Notre Dame’s next president,” said Ann Hawkins, Chair of the Notre Dame College Board of Trustees. “The number of outstanding candidates who came forward reflects the College’s reputation for quality education, service to students and respect for the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame. I have complete confidence in Dr. Pressimone as our next president, and I look forward to working with him, as I am sure the entire College community does.

Hawkins added: “I would also like to thank Dr. John Galovic for his outstanding service to our College during this transition period. He has provided exemplary leadership, unselfish service and tireless energy in making sure our programs and operations continued without missing a beat.”

Pressimone’s 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.

Pressimone added: “I am honored to join the Notre Dame College community as we begin our important work together. My wife Cathy and I felt a strong connection to the mission and the beautiful work begun by the Sisters of Notre Dame nearly 100 years ago. As we met more and more Notre Dame colleagues, it was clear that the College was a place that would marry our passion for this work with a community of hope and optimism and dedicated to serving a wonderfully diverse student population. I am anxious to hit the ground running.”

Currently, Pressimone serves on the boards of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Chaminade College Prep, Incarnate Word Academy Academic Affairs Committee and St. Joseph’s Academy.

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. In the wake of community unrest following the death of Michael Brown in 2014 and the Stockley verdict in 2017, he hosted gatherings of community leaders who were committed to exploring non-violent responses.

At Fontbonne, he expanded educational access for the undeserved through the creation of the Fontbonne Promise program which provides free education to academically able students who lack the ability to pay. Working with faculty and external funders, Fontbonne addressed the crisis of sex and human trafficking through the establishment of the Center Against Human Trafficking and Exploitation. He spearheaded the effort to purchase the former John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in Manchester, Mo., more than doubling the University’s real estate holdings

Pressimone and his wife Cathy have been married for 38 years and have 12 children and six grandchildren with three more on the way.

March 2020

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or