Past Presidents of Saint Michael's College
Very Reverend Amand Prével, SSE 1904 – 1907
The Saint Michael's Corporation (the predecessor of the Board of Trustees) declared Amand Prével, a native of France, first President of the College in January 1904. Prével had been involved in higher education in France, both at the Collège de l’Immaculée Conception in Laval and at Collège St-Michel in Château-Gontier, which he founded. He was also instrumental in setting up a secondary school named Saint Michael's College in Hichin, England. This experience proved useful while setting up Saint Michael's College in Vermont. His tenure was quite short, however, as he was soon elected Superior General of the Society of Saint Edmund and returned to France in 1907.
Very Reverend Ernest M. Salmon, SSE 1907 – 1913
The Saint Michael's Corporation elected Rev. Ernest Salmon President of the College following the 1907 General Chapter. Salmon had been at Saint Michael’s since its inception and was an easy choice to take over from Prével. During his term in office he oversaw the incorporation of the College by a special act of the Vermont legislature. This act gave the College the right to grant degrees (rather than simply giving diplomas). He served as Superior of the house until 1913, when he became the novice master and pastor of the parish in Swanton as well as Provincial of the Edmundites in America. He did, however, continue to serve as the head of the Board of Trustees of the Saint Michael's Institute and as the President of the Saint Michael's College Board of Trustees.
Very Reverend Edmund M. Total, SSE 1913 – 1919
In September 1913, Superior General Jules Garnier named Fr. Edmund Total Superior of the Saint Michael's College house. With this position, Fr. Total effectively took over the daily administration of the College. However, the Board of Trustees never elected Total President of the College. Fr. Ernest Salmon, as American Provincial, retained his position as President of Saint Michael's Institute and was also elected President of the Board of Trustees of Saint Michael's College, officially making him ex officio President of the college. It is clear Fr. Total did take on most of the rights and responsibilities of the college president, however, and he is treated as one by the tradition of the College. During his term the College continued to run a high school and to slowly grow.
Very Reverend William Jeanmarie, SSE 1919 – 1931
In July 1919, Fr. Total moved to Swanton and Fr. Salmon, citing too many responsibilities elsewhere, resigned his position as President of Saint Michael's Institute and President of the Board of Trustees of Saint Michael's College. He recommended that Fr. William Jeanmarie become President, and the Board concurred. Fr. Jeanmarie, a native of Swanton Vermont, was one of the first Americans to become a member of the Society. He was at Saint Michael's at its founding and spent only a few years away from the College before returning in 1912. During Jeanmarie's term, the College underwent a period of growth. In 1920, he began to raise funds for a new building on campus, and in 1923 New Hall, later named Jeanmarie Hall, opened. He also oversaw the purchase of Prével Hall, and the Seguin property, which included St Joseph's and Senior Halls along with farm property. The College ended the high school program during his tenure and gained its first accreditations (by the New York State of Regents, Catholic University, and Montreal University.) Jeanmarie was also quite successful in maintaining the College and providing leadership for the local house while the Society of Saint Edmund itself dissolved and then petitioned the Vatican for restoration. Following his 12 years as President, he returned to Swanton in 1931, where he remained until his death.
Very Reverend Eugene Alliot, SSE 1931 – 1934
Rev. Eugene Alliot, a native of France, became president of Saint Michael's College after serving in various roles since 1907. His term of office was for the most part unremarkable, although he was President at the start of the Great Depression, a very difficult time for the College.
Very Reverend Leon E. Gosselin, SSE 1934 – 1940
Rev. Leon Gosselin was the first graduate of Saint Michael's College to serve as President of the College. He was born in Rutland; and grew up in Springfield, Vermont. Much of his presidency was marked by planning for the future of the College. He set up both the Friends of SMC, an organization of lay people who raised the first substantial endowment for the College, and the Associate Trustees of the College as a way of promoting the college in local community and among alumni. He worked with the Vermont State Legislature to establish a scholarship program funded by the state ($1800 for 15 scholarships). The first alumni magazine was published during his term as well. In 1939, the College was officially accredited by NEASC following many years of formal association with the American Association of Colleges. Gosselin was also instrumental in establishing Fire District Number 1 in the town of Colchester, the water district that supplies water to Winooski Park, including SMC, Fanny Allen Hospital and Fort Ethan Allen.
Very Reverend James H. Petty, SSE 1940 – 1946
Fr. James Petty, who was born in Portland, Maine and came to Vermont at the age of 16. He attended Saint Anne’s Academy, the Society's secondary school in Swanton and lived with the community during his time there. He then attended Saint Michael's. After his ordination, he returned to SMC and held many different positions. He also worked in Swanton and in Putney before returning to Saint Michael’s as president. Soon after Petty began as president, on the eve of World War II, all the men on campus between the ages of 21 and 35 registered for the draft. Students joined the military in huge numbers following the bombing of Pearl Harbor and enrollment went down significantly. In an effort to remain solvent and meet the needs of the students, the College accelerated all courses so that graduation was pushed forward by a few months for the class of 1942 to almost a year for the class of 1944. All students remained in class for the summer. By 1943, both returning and new students were scarce, although again the president and administration attempted to fill the classroom with nurses from Fanny Allen Hospital nursing program. The nurses not only took classes but also lived on campus, although separated from male students by Route 15. Fr. Petty’s term ended in 1946, after he successfully maneuvered the College through the extremely difficult war period and began to prepare for the return of the veterans to campus. One of his last acts as president was to put procedures in motion for the purchase of the surplus army buildings that were to populate campus for the next decades.
Very Reverend Daniel P. Lyons, SSE '26, H'60 1946 – 1952
Fr. Danny Lyons became president following the General Chapter of 1946. Lyons, a native Vermonter, had been at Saint Michael's since 1930 in a variety of capacities. He was president during a time of extraordinary growth for the College. Veterans returned to campus in such large numbers that the College was absolutely transformed by them. The AFROTC program was added during his term, and he helped institute a retirement plan for employees. During his term as President, the College finalized the purchase of the surplus army buildings that became known as Miketown, purchased some land at Fort Ethan Allen and built Cheray Hall, the first new building in over 20 years. Fr. Lyons also oversaw the building of Ryan Hall, the first of the quad dorms. In 1947, the School of Drama, later to become Saint Michael’s Playhouse, first came to campus.
Very Reverend Francis E. Moriarty, SSE '40, H'88 1952 – 1958, 1974 – 1976
Ninth President and Twelfth President
Father Moriarty was appointed to the position of President of Saint Michael's College in 1952. He became the last president to serve also as Superior of the local SSE house. Moriarty had attended Saint Michael's and returned within a couple of years of his graduation. He then went to become principal of the newly established SSE apostolate Cardinal Mindszenty High School in Dunkirk, NY. After gaining valuable administrative skills at CMHS, he returned to Saint Michael's as president. He took over as the school was about to launch the innovative Saint Michael’s Plan of liberal education. He was at the helm as the school expanded to include an international component with the Center for International Programs and Teaching English as A Second Language programs. The campus itself expanded under his leadership, with new quad dorms added to house an ever-increasing number of men.
In 1974, upon the resignation of Bernard Boutin, Rev. Francis Moriarty once again became President of the College. He managed to keep the College on an even keel while the trustees engaged in a formal search for another lay president.
Very Reverend Gerald E. Dupont, SSE '35 1958 – 1969
In August 1958 Superior General Jeremiah Purtill wrote a memo outlining the roles of the President of Saint Michael’s College and the Superior of the Saint Michael's House. The memo noted that the role of the president had grown too complex and that religious living in the SMC House needed to have the same governance and oversight offered in other SSE houses. Therefore, he split the roles of Superior of the House and office of the President. The role of the president then became to run the College in temporal and all other ways, the role of the Superior was to administer the house and the religious assigned to it in spiritual and other matters. Superior General Purtill then appointed Father Vincent Maloney Superior of the house and Fr. Gerald Dupont took over as President of the College. Although he was originally from Rhode Island, he attended Saint Michael's and spent all of his priestly life at Saint Michael's after attending graduate school in Toronto and Montreal. His ten-year term of office is marked by the continued growth of the College. Dupont oversaw the continued construction of buildings on campus, including Saint Michael the Archangel Chapel, Durick Library, Alliot Hall, and the final two quad residence halls. Students continued to attend at record rates. Student life changed as the makeup of the student body changed from returning GI's to primarily 18-22 year old students. Financial growth did not follow the other trends however, and fiscal problems grew throughout his term. Of most importance however, was the groundwork he laid for the eventual switch to lay leadership. Dupont was not unaware of the impact such a change was likely to have and there is some evidence that he planned significantly for something he saw as inevitable.
Bernard Louis Boutin '45, H'63 1969 – 1974
President Bernard Boutin became the first lay president of the College in 1969. Boutin had served on the Board of Trustees since its inception in 1967; making him well prepared to head up the school. He was a graduate of the College and had been quite involved in the College since leaving. He had also been involved in politics, serving as mayor of Laconia New Hampshire and working for the Kennedy administration. As the leader of the school during the major transition from religious to lay leadership, he had a tough job ahead of him. Boutin is best remembered for bringing women to Saint Michael’s, an act that succeeded not only in opening up the campus to women, but also to pulling the College out of a crippling debt. In 1970, 22 women enrolled at Saint Michael's, and it remains coeducational. Despite the relatively short tenure of his term, Boutin was also quite successful in fundraising, raising funds for the building of Ross Sports Center and McCarthy Arts Center, two significant buildings that contributed significantly to student life on campus.
Edward L. Henry, Ph.D. H'87 1976 – 1985
The Board of Trustees elected Edward Henry president of Saint Michael's College on October 3, 1975. He began work in April 1976. Prior to arriving at Saint Michael's he had been vice president for development at St. Johns University after serving as president of St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Ind. and mayor of St. Cloud, MN. President Henry oversaw the College through a period of mild growth and the establishment of the College as a coeducational liberal arts college ready to enter a new phase in its history. One of his early actions as president was meeting with major stakeholders and producing a statement that called for a "liberal education in the light of the Catholic faith." (The phrase "in the light of the Catholic faith" eventually became part of the mission of the college.) He led the College as it developed a new core curriculum, placed a premium on on-campus living and on campus life. He also made tough choices to increase tuition and hold down enrollment at a time when many Catholic colleges were closing. During his term, the College made an effort to include the community in events and expanded its continuing education offerings. He announced his intention to leave in 1983, but remained in office until June 30 1985, when Dr. Paul Reiss began as president.
Paul J. Reiss, Ph.D. H'05 1985 – 1996
Dr. Paul Reiss was inaugurated as president of Saint Michael’s College on the Feast of St. Edmund, September 29, 1985. A native of Lake Placid, New York, he earned his B.S. at Holy Cross, M.A. at Fordham University, and Ph.D. at Harvard University. Reiss served on the faculty at Marquette University and then at Fordham University, where he also served as academic and then executive vice-president. President Reiss led the College in strengthening its commitment to its Edmundite Catholic mission and led the College through eleven years of increased enrollment, expanded curricular offerings, the establishment of the honors program, institutionalization of continuing education, the development of international programs, with Japan and China, and in the initiation of the student Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) program. He instituted a major campus development program and fund-raising campaign which resulted in St. Edmund’s Hall, a major addition to the library, the international commons, and the Tarrant Recreation Center as well as major renovations to Jeanmarie Hall, Cheray Science Hall, Alliot Student Center and other campus buildings. Dr. Reiss contributed the funds for the construction of the President’s house which the College later named for him. He retired effective June 1996 and returned to his “hometown” where he continues to administer educational summer camp programs for inner-city youth. He also serves as the founding president of Mercy Care for the Adirondacks with a mission to extend mercy and justice to elders living in the community.
Marc A. vanderHeyden, Ph.D. 1996 - 2007
Marc vanderHeyden, a native of Belgium, became president of Saint Michael's in 1996 after serving as provost at Marist College and working at Rider College and Cedar Crest College. He took over after a very successful Reiss presidency and so, unlike most of his predecessors, was not mired in crises from the outset. He spent a year listening and learning on campus before beginning to implement changes or his own vision. In contrast to Reiss before him, he focused very much on the undergraduate liberal educational experience, eventually closing the Prevel School to devote more energy to the undergraduate curriculum. He also renewed interest in North campus properties at Fort Ethan Allen and encouraged students' staff and faculty, as well as the Society of Saint Edmund, to renew interest in their own history. He started the Pontigny Heritage Trips encouraging travel to France and England in an effort to understand the Society of Saint Edmund and their patron saint. He oversaw an expansive capital campaign that raised the College endowment significantly. The College finally achieved its goal of 100 percent residency on campus with the addition of three new dormitories during his tenure. His "Vision 2010" plan included the following institutional strategies - a foundation and future in faith, academic excellence, centrality of students, strength in community and fiscal responsibility through resource acquisition and accountability. During his term the College also became a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He formally announced his retirement in May 2006.
John J. Neuhauser, Ph.D. 2007- 2018
Dr. John J. Neuhauser was named president of Saint Michael's College in 2007 after serving as University Professor of Boston College. Professor Neuhauser was academic vice president and dean of faculties at Boston College from 1999 to 2005 and, before that, dean and professor of Boston College's Carroll School of Management from 1977 to 1999.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Neuhauser earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Manhattan College in 1964, a master's in operations research and statistics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1965, and a doctorate in operations research and statistics: mathematics, also from Rensselaer, in 1968. He has an impressive record of publications in creative computing and business.
During Dr. Neuhauser’s tenure at Saint Michael’s, the campus has undergone significant improvements and been able to reduce its carbon footprint. The Dion Student Family Center, the Quad Residence Halls and the Pomerleau Alumni Center were all built to improve the student and alumni experience with minimal environmental impact. President Neuhauser has led the College successfully through the 2008 recession and has been noted in higher education media outlets for his plan of “shrinking strategically” in response to fewer high school graduates in the Northeast. In 2012 Saint Michael's became a founding member of the Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium, a collaborative of Colleges created to reduce costs and improve services to its members.
Through Dr. Neuhauser’s support and leadership, the College also has made great strides in linking the lifelong benefits of a liberal arts education with applied, experiential learning through initiatives like mentored summer research that offers students in all majors opportunities to learn alongside faculty doing projects more typical for graduate-level students. In recent years the College also made a concerted effort to help make its exceptional education affordable for disadvantaged, promising students. Saint Michael's became a member of the American Talent Initiative and the Coalition for Access Affordability and Success, two important national initiatives. The College also created Saint Michael's Accelerated Summer College, which provides students a way to lower their cost of attendance by taking courses outside of the regular semester schedule.
Dr. Neuhauser has been a member of the Saint Michael's College Board of Trustees since 2001. He is the father of three grown children and grandfather of seven. He has completed the Boston Marathon seven times.