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J. Michael Pressimone, Ed.D. is the 14th President of Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned his Ed.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change from Benedictine University in 2013.
Pressimone’s higher education career spans more than three decades. He served as Vice President of Advancement at Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania; Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina; and Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.
He 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. He has been an active voice in issues of diversity and racial justice. Pressimone has written in support of greater diversity and inclusion in both the news media and for his campus constituency. Each summer, he hosts a five week long series of conversations between white and black Catholics in St. Louis. 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, Pressimone hosted gatherings of community leaders who were committed to exploring non-violent responses.
At Fontbonne, Pressimone is leading a transformation driven by Fontbonne Forward – a strategic plan for growth, excellence and inspiration. He is spearheading an effort to purchase a now closed Catholic high school property west of St. Louis which would more than double the University’s real estate holdings and expand its capacity for athletic programs and graduate and adult education. Other new initiatives at the University include: Fontbonne Promise, which provides free education to academically able students who lack the ability to pay, and an anti-sex trafficking certificate program for social workers, caregivers and first responders who deal with victims and survivors of trafficking.
Michael and his wife Cathy are active members of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. They have been married for 36 years and are blessed with 12 children and five grandchildren.