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La Salle News

February 20, 2014

La Salle University President Brother Michael J. McGinniss, F.S.C., Receives Honorary Degree from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Br. Michael McGinniss, F.S.C. (center) receives his honorary degree from Brother President William Mann of Saint Mary’s University (left) and the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Gostomski (right).

La Salle University President Brother Michael J. McGinniss, F.S.C., recently received an honorary degree from Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota. Br. Michael, who is stepping down as La Salle’s President this May after 15 years in office, was honored for his contributions to the Catholic Church, schools, and society.

“Whereas Brother Michael has without a doubt had a significant, long-lasting, and transformational impact on the future of Lasallian and Catholic education, on this continent and around the world … the Board of Trustees of Saint Mary’s of Minnesota bestows on Michael McGinniss, F.S.C., the degree of Doctor of Educational Leadership, honoris causa,” said Brother Robert Smith, F.S.C., Vice President of the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs at Saint Mary’s.

“It’s always gratifying to be recognized by your peers,” Br. Michael said. “Being honored with four other Christian Brothers who have done so much for the mission of St. John Baptist de La Salle made the event even more special.”

Br. Michael was honored by Saint Mary’s for his service alongside three other Christian Brothers who are current or former presidents of Lasallian colleges . The other honorary degree recipients were: Brother Mel Anderson, F.S.C., former President of Saint Mary’s College of California; Brother James Gaffney, F.S.C., President of Lewis University in Illinois; and Brother Thomas Scanlan, F.S.C., past President of Manhattan College in New York.

In addition, Saint Mary’s honored its President Emeritus, Brother Louis DeThomasis, F.S.C., with the dedication of Brother Louis Hall, a classroom and office building formerly known as Park Avenue North.

Br. Michael has been President of La Salle University since 1999. He was previously President of Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tenn.

During his tenure at La Salle, he launched a new strategic plan for the University that resulted in the following accomplishments:

  • $133 million raised for various facilities, programs, and other initiatives
  • An increase in the University’s endowment by 88 percent, from $42 million to $79.4 million
  • An increase in undergraduate enrollment by 13 percent and graduate/doctorate enrollment by 24 percent
  • A significant increase in alumni involvement in the life of the University
  • The construction of the $26 million St. Basil’s residence hall and adjacent Treetops Café overlooking Fairmount Park
  • An expansion of the physical footprint of the University with the acquisition of the former Germantown Hospital, taking the campus from 100 to 130 acres and creating the West Campus and a new, expanded space for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Support for the economic viability of the surrounding community with the development of The Shoppes at La Salle, which include the first supermarket in the neighborhood in 40 years
  • The expansion and complete renovation of Holroyd Hall, featuring the Hugh and Nancy Devlin Center for Science and Technology
  • A unique recognition for civic engagement, both academically and through extracurricular activities, from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
  • The finalizing of planning for the development of La Salle’s new business school
  • The expansion of the Bucks County Center in Newtown, Pa.
  • The opening of the Montgomery County Center in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. The University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 30 schools in the North Region and among the top 10 Catholic schools in the region.