Fred Pestello

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Fred P. Pestello
33rd President of
Saint Louis University
In office
July 1, 2014 – Present
Preceded by Lawrence Biondi S.J.
Personal details
Born 1952
Alma mater John Carroll University
University of Akron
Profession Academic

Fred P. Pestello (born 1952) is the 33rd President of Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. He was appointed by the university's Board of Trustees on March 20, 2014.[1] Prior to this, he was the 13th President of Le Moyne College, a post he had held since July 1, 2008.[2][3] He was the first permanent lay leader of Le Moyne, a Jesuit institution of higher education and the only comprehensive Catholic college in Central New York. Pestello was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and received his bachelor's degree in sociology at John Carroll University in 1974, his master's degree in sociology from the University of Akron in 1981, and his doctoral degree from the University of Akron-Kent State University joint Ph.D. program in sociology in 1985.

Prior to accepting his position at Le Moyne College, Pestello served at the University of Dayton for 24 years. He began his academic career as professor of sociology at UD, and later became chair of the department of sociology, anthropology, and social work. He advanced to positions as the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, then provost and senior vice president for educational affairs from 2001 to 2008. In May 2008, Pestello was formally heralded by the University of Dayton's Board of Trustees for his leadership in fostering academic excellence among students and faculty, and singled out in particular for his emphasis on faculty development. Pestello also served the Ohio Partnership for Continued Learning, the Dayton Regional Network, United Way of Greater Dayton, and St. Joseph Children's Treatment Center. From 2003 to 2005, he served on the National Advisory Council Fostering Student Development through Faculty Development, a project funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. and the John Templeton Foundation.

On March 21, 2014, Pestello was named the 33rd President of Saint Louis University. He replaced Lawrence Biondi.

Saint Louis University presidency[edit]

Since Pestello took office in 2014, SLU has enjoyed the second most successful fund-raising year in its history, is constructing two new residence halls, and negotiated a historic agreement with SSM Health which includes a $500,000,000 investment on the medical campus.[4] National rankings, university strategic planning, and civic relations have improved. After peacefully resolving a weeklong campus encampment (OccupySLU)[5] organized to protest racial inequality in the St. Louis region, Pestello continues to promote inclusiveness and equity both at SLU and beyond.[6]

Le Moyne College presidency[edit]

As president, Dr. Pestello skillfully oversaw stewardship of a historic donation to the college: a $50 million bequest from the McDevitt family.[7] He also directed important physical improvements on the campus, including renovation of an abandoned building in order to house a bookstore open to the community, and construction of the LEED gold Coyne Science Center. Pestello implemented changes that increased enrollment, and led two successful fund-raising campaigns.[8] [9]In September 2008, Pestello initiated a strategic visioning process entitled "OneLeMoyne," resulting in a strategic plan largely realized by the end of his term.[10] Pestello met in June 2009 in Rome, Italy with the Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

Published works[edit]

Book Sentiments and Acts. (Aldine de Gruyter, 1993). Co-authored with Irwin Deutscher and H. Frances G. Pestello. Book received a Special Recognition Award from the Charles Horton Cooley Committee of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, 1994.


Pestello has published articles on topics ranging from hospices and public policy to faculty hiring practices in Catholic colleges, including:

  • "Faculty Attitudes and Hiring Practices at Selected Catholic Colleges and Universities." Current Issues in Catholic Higher Education (2001) with James L. Heft and Ronald M. Katsuyama
  • "Discounting." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (1991)
  • "The Social Construction of Grades." Teaching Sociology (1987)
  • "White Opposition: To Busing or to Desegregation?" Social Science Quarterly (1982)


  1. ^ "Dr. Fred P. Pestello Named President of Saint Louis University : Saint Louis University  : SLU". Retrieved 2016-03-07. 
  2. ^ "UD's provost takes new job; Fred Pestello has been named president of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y."
  3. ^ "First Day for Le Moyne College president." Renee K. Gadoua. Syracuse Post-Standard July 1, 2008.
  4. ^ Enterprises, Lee. "SSM Health announces plans for new $500M SLU hospital : Business". Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  5. ^ "October 2014 in St. Louis, MO: Reflections from a University President". AJCU. Retrieved 2016-03-07. 
  6. ^ Singer, Dale. "SLU president’s first year: Collegiality and Clock Tower protest". Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  7. ^ "Le Moyne College receives $50 million gift". Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  8. ^ "Building the future of Le Moyne College | The Catholic Sun". Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Le Moyne's President Pestello to take over much bigger university in St. Louis". Retrieved 2016-02-29.