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Former Le Moyne Interim President Dr. John Smarrelli Jr. Named President at Christian Brothers University

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (For Immediate Release) … Following a nationwide search, John Smarrelli Jr., Ph.D., currently special assistant to the president of Le Moyne College, has been named the 22nd president at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tenn. Dr. Smarrelli is the first permanent lay president at CBU, a private, four-year university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. He will take over the position on July 1, 2009.

A 1975 graduate of Le Moyne, Dr. Smarrelli joined the College in 2001 as academic vice president. In 2005, he was named the College’s first-ever provost, a position he held until June 2007 when he became interim president, serving in that role for one year.

 “While I am excited by this opportunity, it is with mixed emotions that I leave my alma mater, which has been such an important part of my personal and professional life,” said Dr. Smarrelli. “But I leave knowing that, under the leadership of President Fred Pestello, Le Moyne is well-positioned for the future and will only continue to grow and prosper.”

 “This is a wonderful opportunity for Dr. Smarrelli, who brings a wealth of experience to this position,” said Le Moyne President Dr. Fred Pestello. “John has been a valuable colleague to me, and has made many significant accomplishments in his time at Le Moyne. I have no doubt that he will do a tremendous job as president of Christian Brothers University.”

While at Le Moyne, Dr. Smarrelli successfully guided the College through the reaccreditation process, oversaw its planning committee and headed the senior leadership team. Prior to coming to Le Moyne, he worked at Loyola University in Chicago, where he served in a number of capacities, including dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, chair of the biology department and the chair of the advanced placement biology program.  He earned a doctoral and master’s degree from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, a bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne, and has conducted postdoctoral work in biology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He is a Syracuse native.

Dr. Smarrelli succeeds H. Lance Forsdick Sr. who has served since May 2008 as interim president of CBU following the death of Brother Vincent Malham, FSC.

Christian Brothers University has more than 1,700 full-time undergraduate students and 600 professional and graduate students. It was founded in 1871 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, a Catholic teaching order.


posted on: 12/19/2008