St. John’s University Chooses New Leader

Dr. Conrado Gempesaw

The St. John’s University board of trustees has named Conrado M. Gempesaw, Ph. D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, as St. John’s 17th president. Dr. Gempesaw will succeed Father Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., effective July 1. 

Father Levesque has been serving as interim president after the resignation of Father Donald Harrington, C.M., last year.

An accomplished scholar, teacher and administrator, Dr. Gempesaw comes to St. John’s with almost three decades of academic experience. At Miami University, he led the institution’s comprehensive strategic planning efforts and introduced enrollment management strategies based on capacity planning that increased the school’s applicant pool and improved student diversity. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Miami third nationally for exceptionally strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.

The selection follows an extensive national search overseen by a 13-member search committee representing a cross-section of St. John’s University constituencies, including faculty, students, administrators, alumni and trustees. The search committee was co-chaired by Peter P. D’Angelo, chair of the St. John’s board, and the Very Reverend Michael J. Carroll, C.M., vice chair. 

“Dr. Gempesaw brings an impressive record of academic achievement, administrative excellence, and the ability to inspire students, faculty, alumni and administrators,” said D’Angelo.

St. John’s has transformed from a commuter school into a global educational institution. The university has campuses in Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and Rome, Italy; an academic center in Oakdale, N.Y.; and study abroad locations in Paris and Seville, Spain. It recently leased space for its Manhattan campus at 51 Astor Pl., the brand new Edward J. Minskoff building located in the heart of the East Village, home to more than 50,000 college students and an emerging technology hub in New York’s booming Midtown South business district.

St. John’s has an enrollment of approximately 15,800 undergraduate students and 5,000 graduate students and is ranked second among America’s universities for ethnic diversity by U.S. News & World Report. The university employs approximately 1,500 faculty members.

“I am deeply honored to have been chosen to lead St. John’s University during this transformational time, and grateful for the confidence and support of everyone who participated in the search process,” said Dr. Gempesaw.

“With its diverse and accomplished students, exceptional faculty, devoted alumni, dedication to service and commitment to the poor that is grounded in its Catholic and Vincentian history, St. John’s has become one of New York’s most enduring institutions through its mission to provide a world-class affordable education. I look forward to working with St. John’s administration, faculty, staff and alumni in ensuring the success of our students.”

Dr. Gempesaw led the development of new academic initiatives to enhance retention and graduation rates, increase international enrollment and global partnerships, establish student learning outcomes assessment practices and create e-learning niche programs and market strategies.

Dr. Gempesaw also has held several positions at the University of Delaware. He and his wife, Clavel Albay Gempesaw, are members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oxford, Ohio. They have two sons, Daniel, who earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree from Georgia Tech, and David, who earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the University of Delaware and is currently a graduate student at Miami University.