President's Column, Summer 2023: Continuing the Mission

Dear Alvernia University Community,

As I officially step into my term as President of Alvernia University, I enter it with a deep sense of pride and humility. I’m proud to walk in the footsteps of the great Bernardine Franciscan Sisters — leaders of our community — and humbled by the Sisters’ acceptance, guidance, and support as I become first female lay president in Alvernia’s history.

It is an exciting time, as Alvernia continues on the pathway of transformation into a Regional Comprehensive University. Our distinct mission of serving the underserved in the communities where we live, learn, and engage has never been stronger. I’m grateful for the counsel and wisdom of President Loyack during the transition. I am also grateful for the support of the Board of Trustees, and their trust in our senior leadership team to continue the extraordinary progress we’ve experienced over the past four years.

I step into this new role with a clear path for the immediate steps ahead and a unique opportunity to guide the future. We will continue down the path laid out in the Alvernia Advantage Strategic Plan, building upon the accomplishments and competitive advantages the CollegeTowne initiatives have afforded our university. Mid-point successes of this strategy include expanding academic programming in engineering and health sciences in new facilities that enhance scholarship and experiential learning opportunities; adding student living space; enhancing academic support offerings; remodeling our academic operations into a four-College model; seeing academic programs reaccredited; and reorganizing our mission, diversity, equity, inclusion, and engagement models.

I share President Loyack’s vision of engaged alumni, students, faculty, staff, and dedicated partner networks moving the university into the next era. With flexibility, innovation, expansion, engagement, and an unwavering student-centric approach, we will be prepared for the challenges facing this country’s regional private and liberal arts universities. I’m excited and honored to lead Alvernia on this journey.

I am grateful for those students, alumni, staff, faculty, supporters, community partners, and the Senior Leadership Team who have charted this path for us and continue to walk it with us.  Together, our footsteps will pave a path toward future success and ensure that Alvernia remains a vibrant, mission-driven university befitting the Bernardine Sisters’ vision and legacy.


Glynis A. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
Alvernia University’s 8th President

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