St. Andrews College Names New President
Paul Baldasare, a 1977 graduate of St. Andrews Presbyterian College, has been named the eighth president for St. Andrews.
The Board of Trustees chose Baldasare during a special meeting Thursday, Dec. 21, at the college, said David Burns, chairman of the board.
Baldasare follows Dr. John Deegan Jr., who resigned earlier this week after four years as the college's president.
"Paul has been involved with the college a long long time starting as a student and having served on the board for several years," Burns said. "In talking with administrators and faculty on campus, I received all positive feedback on Paul. He has shown great dedication to the school through the years first as a trustee and later as the school's development officer. He's a team player with a great positive attitude."
Baldasare has been serving as vice president for institutional advancement at the college since 1997.
During this period, the college raised $36.6 million during its Share The Vision Capital Campaign. The campaign goal was $35 million.
"I'm honored that our trustees have given me this opportunity to lead my alma mater and that they have placed such confidence in my ability to serve as its next president," Baldasare said. "The college has shown great progress over the past five years, and the next phase of its growth will be exciting for all of us."
While at St. Andrews, Baldasare served as president of the Student Government Association, played varsity tennis, and was the student and alumni representative on the college's Board of Trustees. He was also general manager of the college's student-operated radio station.
"As the beneficiary of a St. Andrews education, I can say with confidence after working here for the past nine years that the faculty and staff of the college are as committed to delivering a quality academic and co-curricular education to our students today as they were when I was a student," Baldasare said. "We have remarkably high-quality academic and athletic programs at St. Andrews with a number of programs garnering national recognition."
After graduating from St. Andrews, Baldasare earned his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He became a partner in a Durham law firm, Fowler & Baldasare. He also served as assistant to the vice chancellor for advancement and associate legal counsel at UNC Chapel Hill.
He has also served on the St. Andrews Board of Trustees and Alumni Council.
"Paul will bring a great perspective to the St. Andrews president's office," said Dr. Robert Hopkins, vice president of academic affairs and dean of the college. "As a graduate of St. Andrews and as a member of our administrative team for the past several years, he has demonstrated a thorough understanding of the issues being undertaken by the college, and he is committed to ensuring that our students have a quality academic experience. Our faculty members have a high respect for him both personally and professionally and are looking forward to supporting him as our leader."
Baldasare said the present senior leadership members will remain in place at the college.
"I am confident that our administration and faculty will continue to work closely together to build on the success we are enjoying as a college," he said.
"One of the highest priorities of presidents at small, private liberal arts and sciences colleges is to spend time on external relations and to raise money," said Baldasare, who headed the most successful capital campaign in the college's history. "Board members have made it clear that they want me to spend as much as half of my time on the road building relationships with alumni, foundations, and friends of the college and raising private gifts and grants to support the growth that the college is experiencing."
Baldasare is married to Jane R. Wettach, clinical professor of law at the Duke University School of Law. They have two children, Gabriel, 18, and Leah, 15.
Deegan resigned Tuesday, Dec. 19, effective immediately. He cited differences of opinion regarding how to achieve priorities with the college's board as his reason to resign.
"Renewed and justified pride in St. Andrews is evident everywhere and the college is rapidly becoming an institution of first choice," Deegan said in a news release from the college. "I am proud to have been instrumental in bringing about this transformation, and I am confident that a new foundation has been laid on which the college can be sustained."
Deegan has served as president since July 2002.
"The trustees appreciate the loyalty and performance of Dr. Deegan during his four-year association with St. Andrews," Burns said. "We certainly wish him the best in his future endeavors."
During Deegan's term, the enrollment at St. Andrews grew by 32 percent to more than 800 students -- the second highest enrollment since 1972.
Five new academic programs were added, the college's general education program was revitalized, and eight new NCAA Division II varsity athletic teams were created.
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