Alvernia celebrated the inauguration of Glynis A. Fitzgerald, Ph.D., the eighth president in university history, with a week of activities for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community. The week culminated with a ceremony in the Physical Education Center featuring over 300 in attendance, including elected officials, college officials, Alvernia students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and personal friends of Fitzgerald.

In This Section

Presidential Inauguration

Learn More About Dr. Fitzgerald

Glynis Fitzgerald 2024
Groundbreaking leader becomes Alvernia's first female lay president
Following four years as Senior Vice President and Provost, Fitzgerald became the university's eighth president on July 1.
Glynis Fitzgerald 2024
Fitzgerald arrived at Alvernia in 2019 with over 20 years of higher education experience as the senior vice president and provost.
Alvernia University President Glynis A. Fitzgerald, Ph.D. welcomes students into Francis Hall
President's Column, Summer 2023
In her first Alvernia Magazine president's column, Fitzgerald discusses continuing the mission.


Inauguration Week Events

April 4: Pottsville CollegeTowne Event
  • Location: Pottsville CollegeTowne
  • Description: Students, faculty, alumni, and community members gathered at Pottsville CollegeTowne to officially welcome Glynis Fitzgerald, Ph.D., as Alvernia's new president. After a brief presentation, attendees enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and drinks during a fun-filled social hour.
  • πŸ“·: Browse a photo gallery from the event.
April 5: Casino Night
  • Location: Francis Hall Atrium
  • Description: The Francis Hall Atrium was transformed into a casino filled with games such as blackjack, poker and roulette. Poker chips earned by Alvernia students were traded in for chances to win raffle prizes.
  • πŸ“·: Browse a photo gallery from the event.
April 6: HECBC Conference
  • Location: Albright College
  • Description: The annual HECBC Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference allowed students to share their research and creativity with each other and the community.
April 6: Mass and Dinner with Bernardine Sisters
  • Locations: Sacred Heart Chapel and Motherhouse
  • Description: The Bernardine Franciscan Sisters held a private Mass where they celebrated with and communed with President Fitzgerald. At a dinner following the Mass, the Sisters commissioned Fitzgerald as president of the university they founded 65 years ago.
  • πŸ“·: Browse a photo gallery from the event.
April 8: Alvernia Community Interfaith Commissioning
  • Location: McGlinn Conference Center
  • Description: Interfaith leaders from Berks County and beyond commissioned President Fitzgerald and offered blessings on her presidency from their own faith traditions.
  • πŸ“·: Browse a photo gallery from the event.
April 9: Philadelphia Alumni Event
  • Location: Manayunk Brewing Company, 4120 Main St., Philadelphia
  • Description: Philadelphia alumni reconnected with each other and got the opportunity to meet and congratulate President Fitzgerald at this event. Dan Hartzman, Alvernia's director of external engagement, welcomed guests with opening remarks. Melissa Ulmer '09 provided a mission moment quote from professor, social worker and author Brene Brown. President Fitzgerald then spoke about how far Alvernia has come and how much more the university can achieve.
  • πŸ“·: Browse a photo gallery from the event.
April 10: Campus Happy Hour
  • Location: Holleran Patio
  • Description: Dozens of Alvernia faculty and staff members gathered on the Holleran Patio for a backyard BBQ happy hour.
  • πŸ“·: Browse a photo gallery from the event.
April 10: Women in Leadership Panel
  • Location: Francis Hall Theatre
  • Description: Provost and Senior Vice President Leamor Kahanov, Ed.D., one of four women holding top positions at Alvernia, moderated a panel composed of women leaders in academia and beyond. Joining Kahanov were Dr. Laurie L. Shanderson, owner of Accreditation Insights and the former chancellor of Methodist College; Lucine Sihelnik, President and CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance; and Ginger Kunkel, president of Tompkins Financial Corp. Topics included challenges the leaders have faced and how they overcame them, attributes for leadership, gender stereotypes, what parts mentored played in their success, work/life balance, equitable workplaces and trends in leadership.
  • πŸ“·: Browse a photo gallery from the event.
April 10: Faculty/Staff Art Show
  • Location: Miller Gallery
  • Description: The wide-ranging talents of Alvernia's faculty and staff were celebrated at this opening reception, which allowed attendees to meet the artists. More than two dozen pieces are featured in the exhibit. Some of the works β€” which include paintings, photographs, and clay and porcelain pieces β€” are for sale. The exhibit runs through April 26.
  • πŸ“·: Browse a photo gallery from the event.
April 10: Alvernia Theatre Opening Night
  • Location: Francis Hall Theatre
  • Description: The Department of Fine and Performing Arts presented "Opening Night." Enthusiastically emceed by Communication and Theatre major Hector Malave, the variety show including music, dance and acting by Alvernia students and alumni.
    • Alvernia Dance Company (Sara Baker, Makenzie Lane, Aubrey Ciucci, Tahlia Wasserman and Cristal Paez) opened and closed the event with performances.
    • Theatre major Dylan Smith sang "Being Alive" from the musical "Company."
    • Biology major Autumn Wolf performed "After the Rain" on the marimba.
    • Alumni Cady Monasmith performed Ceres from "Dark Adaptation," choreographed by Fine & Performing Arts lecturer Jessica Warchal-King.
    • Theatre minor Ethan Boyce performed a monologue from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar."
    • Theater alumna Fajir Khan performed "A Trip to the Library" from the musical "She Loves Me" followed by an original song accompanied by Bill Yazian on guitar.
    • Nursing major Youyi Ma performed "Other Side of the River" on the piano.
    • πŸ“·: Browse a photo gallery from the event.
April 11: Donor/VIP Event
  • Location: Reading Public Museum
  • Description: Alvernia’s major philanthropic supporters and other university and community leaders joined to enjoy hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, and music by the Reading Symphony Orchestra string quartet.
  • πŸ“·: View a photo gallery from the event.
April 12: Mass
April 12: Inauguration Ceremony
April 12: Inauguration Formal
  • Location: PEC
  • Description: As part of Inauguration Week events, Alvernia hosted a free Inauguration Formal for students, featuring food, drinks, dancing, raffle prizes and lots of fun.
  • πŸ“·: View a photo gallery from the event.
April 20: Day of Service
  • Locations: Berks County Parks Department and City of Reading
  • Description: To celebrate Earth Day, volunteers served throughout the City of Reading and in Berks County Parks Department locations, concluding with a tree dedication at City Park.
  • πŸ“·: View a photo gallery from the event.

Congratulations Roundup

Institutions of higher education and local officials offered congratulations and certificates of recognition to Dr. Fitzgerald.

Students and Alvernia President Glynis A. Fizgerald paint a bathroom at Reading High School
Support Partners in Progress
In honor of President Glynis A. Fitzgerald inauguration, gifts can be made to the university's historic Partners in Progress Campaign.