The Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Board of Trustees announced Thursday, Dec. 13, that Brother William Mann, FSC, D.Min. has been named the 13th president of the university. Mann will begin his term of office on June 1, 2008.
Mann, 60, is the former Vicar General of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. As Vicar General, he was the second-highest officer of the international Catholic teaching order that comprises 5,300 Christian Brothers, working in association with 73,000 lay educators to operate 930 schools and universities serving 900,000 students in 82 countries.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a private, Catholic institution guided by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. Its Winona campus is home to a residential liberal arts college, while extensive graduate and professional programs are offered at Winona, a Twin Cities campus, Rochester center and Apple Valley center, locations around Minnesota and Wisconsin, and Nairobi, Kenya.
Chancellor Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, Ph.D., has led Saint Mary’s University this past year during the national search for a new president. DeThomasis reassumed the duties of president in February, 2007, after previously serving Saint Mary’s for 21 years in that capacity.
DeThomasis said “Saint Mary’s is so fortunate to have as its new president an internationally recognized educational leader. Brother William Mann is also a renowned Lasallian scholar, who will enhance our vision and mission as a Lasallian institution of higher education.”
DeThomasis added that Mann’s “vast international experience will advance our efforts to bring global education to our students. His experience with multicultural, diverse populations allows him to offer a unique gift to our university setting, and brings a new dimension to the intellectual and spiritual life of students and faculty.”
“We are delighted with the international reputation and stature of our new president,” said Michael Meagher, chairman of the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees. “The board was impressed with his wisdom, sensitivity, and obvious commitment and dedication to education.”
Mann has spent almost 30 years traveling around the country and the world as a leader in the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and as a guiding force in the evolution of the Lasallian educational global network.
“I am excited at the opportunity to focus my experience and passion for the Lasallian educational mission at Saint Mary’s University,” Mann said. He noted that “the many facets of Saint Mary’s are interesting and inspiring, and I believe the university is well-positioned to continue doing great good” within the society of the 21st century.
Mann served in Rome from 2000-07 as Vicar General, a leader with far-ranging responsibilities within the international governance structure of the De La Salle Christian Brothers.
A native of New York City, Mann joined the Christian Brothers in 1965. He began his career as an English and religion teacher, working from 1970-79 at two Christian Brother high schools in New York and Rhode Island. He then held positions directing Christian Brother formation for the Long Island-New England Province and USA/Toronto Region, and from 1990-96 he was International Secretary of Formation in Rome. He later served as Delegate Superior for India, and as Provincial for the LI-NE Province, which operates 10 educational institutions in New York City and Rhode Island.
Mann has also been an organizer, member, delegate and presenter for numerous Lasallian commissions and symposiums. He was a member of the boards of several Christian Brother schools in New York and Rhode Island, and he served on the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Board of Trustees from 1996-2001.
Mann is a noted scholar and writer on the life and teachings of John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and the patron saint of educators. He has authored and edited numerous publications examining De La Salle’s writings and spirituality, putting them into context for Lasallian educators in today’s world.
Mann’s educational background includes a B.A. in English Literature from The Catholic University of America, an M.A. in Liberal Studies - Literature from State University of New York at Stony Brook, an M.A. in Spirituality from Salve Regina University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Family Ministry from Colgate Rochester Divinity School.
Good for SMUM in keeping a professed Religious person as their President. That's one way to keep the Faith. And they found one with a doctorate, too. Even better.