February 13, 2023
A message from Lynda Ellis, Chair of the St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees:
President Tom Mengler, J.D., has led St. Mary’s University through some of the finest moments in its 170-year history. Because of his leadership, we continue to realize our vision of becoming, as a Catholic and Marianist university, among the finest private universities in Texas and the Southwest.
We will be sad to say goodbye to Tom and his wife, Mona. We are grateful to Tom for giving us time to name a successor before he and Mona step aside from their leading roles at St. Mary’s. Their commitment and dedication to Catholic education, the Marianist mission and unprecedented success have set a high bar for us to find the University’s next leader.
At the heart of the University’s past, present and bright future is a Marianist spirituality that is powerful and transformative. As Chair of the Board, I want to reassure you that the Board of Trustees is committed to finding the right successor who understands our responsibility to ensure St. Mary’s University’s Catholic and Marianist education is available and accessible to future generations.
The process to find the next St. Mary’s president is officially underway. The members of the Presidential Nominating Committee listed below, selected upon recommendations from the Executive Committee of the Board, will help St. Mary’s identify and interview candidates to be considered for the role. Early in the process, we will seek your feedback about qualifications needed in the next president of St. Mary’s.
Academic Search, a national search firm, selected by a small group of the Nominating Committee, will help St. Mary’s identify and recruit qualified candidates. Consultants Katherine “Kate” Haley, Ph.D., and Scott Flanagan, Ed.D., have significant experience conducting successful searches for Catholic higher education institutions. Kate is familiar with St. Mary’s, having assisted with the process in 2012 when Tom was appointed.
As the search progresses, the Committee will engage the St. Mary’s community and provide updates as we move through the various stages of the process.
Our timeline aims to announce the new president’s appointment by the end of 2023, with a starting date of June 1, 2024. The early announcement provides time for transitioning the new president into the position before Tom retires from the University on May 31, 2024.
I am confident we have assembled a fine Nominating Committee whose members understand St. Mary’s, its mission and its defining characteristics. The Nominating Committee Chair, Mickey Schott, is a graduate of the University and has served as president of the Alumni Association, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and on several Board standing committees. He has been honored as a distinguished graduate and athlete. He continues to be an engaged member of our St. Mary’s community.
2023 Presidential Nominating Committee:
- Michael “Mickey” Schott (B.B.A. ’68), Chair of the Nominating Committee
- Trustee and President, The Gorman Foundation
- Brother Thomas “Tom” Giardino, S.M.
- Trustee and Executive Director, Association of Marianist Universities (Delegate for the Rev. Oscar Vasquez, S.M., St. Mary’s University Chancellor and Provincial for the Marianist Province of the U.S.)
- Leticia “Leti” Contreras (B.A. ’89)
- Trustee and Executive Vice President, Texas Security General Insurance Agency, LLC
- The Hon. Sandee Bryan Marion (J.D. ’80)
- Trustee and Chief Justice Retired, Fourth Court of Appeals
- Leland T. Blank, Ph.D., P.E. (B.S. ’67)
- Trustee and Dean Emeritus, American University of Sharjah, and Professor Emeritus, Texas A&M University
- Sara Dysart (B.A. ’74, J.D. ’81)
- Trustee and Attorney, Dysart Law
- Jason Pierce, Ph.D.
- Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
- The Rev. John Thompson, S.M., Ed.D.
- Vice President for Mission
- Joel Lauer
- Vice President for University Advancement
- Rowena Ortiz-Walters, Ph.D.
- Dean, Greehey School of Business
- Aaron Tyler, Ph.D.
- Professor, International Studies and Global Affairs
- Veronica Contreras-Shannon, Ph.D.
- Professor, Biological Sciences
As Chair of the Board of Trustees, I will serve as an ex officio member of the Presidential Nominating Committee.