Neumann University, on Friday, officially welcomed Dr. Chris Domes as its sixth president during inauguration ceremonies held on campus at the Mirenda Center.
More than 1,000 members of the university community cheered as Domes, accompanied by his wife Mary, was presented the official presidential medallion.
“Today, Dr. Domes joins an elite group of leaders,” said staff representative and Aston resident Marty Krupiak. “Neumann University has been blessed through the years with powerful, effective, and passionate leaders. This leadership has taken the vision shared by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia to a thriving university shared by the community… May God bless you Dr. Domes and may excellence define your tenure.”
The Inaugural invocation was offered by the Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, archbishop of Philadelphia, followed by a host of speakers including Dr. Thomas Flynn, president of Alvernia College; Don Francis, president, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania.; Fr. Dan Riley, representing Domes’ alma mater, St. Bonaventure University; state Rep. Leeann Krueger-Braneky (D-161); state Sen. Tom Killion (R-9); U.S. Congressman Patrick Meehan(R-7); Deacon Daniel DeLucca, from Neumann’s Board of Trustees; Sr. Mary Kathryn Dougherty, OSF, Congregational leader of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia; and Aston Second Ward Commissioner Carol Graham.
The investiture and presentation of the university medal to Domes was presided over by Sr. Mary Kathryn Dougherty, Dr. Rosalie Mirenda, the retired fifth president of the school, and Domes’ wife, Mary.
In his inaugural address, Domes expressed gratitude to the Board of Trustees, Dr. Mirenda, administration, staff and students. He said when Neumann chose him they also received a special gift in his wife, Mary. He spoke of compassion and the importance of a commitment to the education of generations of students in the Franciscan tradition.
“Our Franciscan intellectual traditional tells us that education alone does not instill care for creation, compassion for others, or a commitment to speak the truth. We must remain committed to helping our students understand the RISES values of Reverence, Integrity, Service, Excellence, and Stewardship. We must also show them how to integrate those values into their lives. We have to find creative ways to collaborate, to provide access for students, and we must be willing to be bold.”
Domes comes to Neumann after serving as president of Silver Lake College in Wisconsin. Prior to that he held leadership positions in various enrollment management and student development capacities for 17 years at Marymount University in Virginia and for a decade at St. Bonaventure University in New York. Silver Lake College and St. Bonaventure University are Catholic Franciscan institutions.
At Marymount, Domes rose from dean of admissions to vice president for student development and enrollment management. He expanded the use of technology in admissions and spearheaded a 40 percent growth of the freshman class in three years. At St. Bonaventure, he had similar success in improving marketing, recruitment and retention.
Domes holds an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from George Washington University, and two degrees from St. Bonaventure University: an M.S.Ed. in Counseling Psychology and a B.A. in History and Secondary Education.