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Alvernia Celebrates Installation of Eighth President

Alvernia Celebrates Installation of Eighth President

by Alvernia University

University’s Franciscan history and future highlights the inauguration of Glynis A. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.

Alvernia officially installs Glynis A. Fitzgerald, Ph.D., as its eighth president in the institution’s history during an inauguration ceremony on the afternoon of Friday, April 12, at the university’s Physical Education Center.

“This is indeed a great day for the university,” said Alvernia University Board of Trustees Chairperson Gregory J. Shemanski. “For only the eighth time in our 65-year history, we observe the installation of a new leader. Today, we celebrate a new beginning—building on the strong foundation set by our foundresses, the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters, and the previous seven presidents of Alvernia.”

During the presidential address, Fitzgerald outlined her reasons for optimism for the future of Alvernia University, which included the university’s history of service and innovation, the campus locations and the communities in which the university serves, the university’s ever-evolving culture of care and commitment to student success, and deepening strategic partnership network.

“As President, I intend to foster an atmosphere where we facilitate conversations with our community partners in determining how to approach problems together, asking the right questions to flesh out the relevant issues to be addressed, and furthering the deep work in the community with partners already active in these spaces,” said Fitzgerald. “So, as I accept the honor and responsibility of being inaugurated as Alvernia’s eighth president, I invite you to be my partners, to be Alvernia’s partners, as we undertake that work.”

Over 300 attendees, including elected officials, college officials, Alvernia students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, and personal friends of Fitzgerald, gathered for the ceremony.

“In the years I’ve known Dr. Fitzgerald, she has proven herself to be a compassionate leader, an innovator who has the mission of Alvernia University at heart, and someone who is very involved within our community,” said Pennsylvania State Senator Judith L. Schwank.

Following nearly five years as Senior Vice President and Provost, Fitzgerald commenced her tenure as president on July 1, 2023. The week of inauguration events showcased the history and tradition of the university and academia, as well as an inside look at Fitzgerald’s vision and personality.

The inauguration celebration officially concludes with the university’s Earth Day of Service, in which 250 students, faculty, and staff are expected to serve together throughout Berks County.

Alvernia University is a Catholic comprehensive university with a liberal arts foundation founded by the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters in 1958. The university serves over 3,000 students in Reading, Pottsville, and Philadelphia with a unique blend of rigorous liberal arts education, strong technical training in many high-demand majors, ever-expanding experiential learning opportunities through study abroad and internship experiences, and community engagement through its Franciscan-based community service model.