July 02, 2014

Pestello Greets Class of 2018 on First Day in Office

Pestello at SLU 101
Pestello addresses SLU 101 attendees during his first public appearance as president July 1. Photo by Michelle Peltier 
Pestello speaks at SLU 101
Following his remarks, Pestello went table to table greeting incoming students and their family members. Photo by Michelle Peltier

Saint Louis University embarked on a new era in its history as Fred Pestello, Ph.D., officially assumed the role of University President on July 1.

Kicking off his tenure in office, Pestello spoke with more than 300 members of the class of 2018 and their families during a luncheon held in Busch Student Center as part of SLU 101, the University's summer orientation program.

It was his first public appearance as president.

"As I went through the search and selection process, what struck me most powerfully is how deeply people here care," Pestello said.

As he closed his brief remarks, Pestello told SLU's newest Billikens: "You're going to have tremendous experiences, make lifelong friends, get to know a faculty that is not only knowledgeable, but passionate in terms of your development and transformation."

On Pestello's first day in office, the University sent a video greeting to faculty, staff and students. In addition, a video greeting was emailed to thousands of alumni.

Pestello was elected SLU's president by the Board of Trustees on March 20, following a national search. He is the first permanent lay president in the University's 196-year history.

Prior to becoming SLU's president, Pestello was the president of Le Moyne College, a comprehensive Jesuit liberal arts institution in Syracuse, New York, for six years. He also was the college's first lay president.

Before his time at Le Moyne, Pestello spent nearly 25 years as a faculty member and provost at the University of Dayton, a Catholic, Marianist research institution in Ohio. A Roman Catholic, Pestello is a graduate of John Carroll University, a Jesuit institution in Cleveland.

For more information about Pestello, visit slu.edu/president.

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