Neil Albert Salonen

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Neil Albert Salonen (born 1946) is president of the University of Bridgeport, a private university in Bridgeport, Connecticut.[1] He is a member of the Unification Church and became the president of the Unification Church of the United States in 1972.[2] In 1974 he led the National Prayer and Fast Committee, a group founded by Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon to support United States president Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.[3] In 1976 Salonen met with Senator Bob Dole to defend the Unification Church against charges made by its critics, including parents of some members.[4] In that year he was president of the Freedom Leadership Foundation, an anticommunist and pro South Korean propaganda organization, as well as church president.[5] In 1980 Salonen was succeeded as the president of the American church by Mose Durst.[6] In 1997 he served as master of ceremonies at a blessing ceremony for about 20,000 engaged and married couples presided over by Rev. and Mrs. Moon and held in Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington D.C..[7] In 2002, Salonen was selected to serve on the Presidents Leadership Group, "a body of higher education presidents and chancellors who have declared their commitment to student substance abuse prevention."[8]


  1. ^ For university presidents, it's more than academic, Stamford Advocate, August 31, 2009
  2. ^ Church members think of Rev. Moon as father, Rock Hill Herald, Associated Press, September 13, 1975
  3. ^ Nixon Backers Open 72 Hours of Prayer on Capitol Steps, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Associated Press, July 23, 1974
  4. ^ Dole meeting with Moon aide called cordial, Lawrence Journal-World, February 24, 1976
  5. ^ The Moonies: What are they really like?, Eugene Register-Guard, August 28, 1976
  6. ^ Moonie change seen, Modesto Bee, May 8, 1980
  7. ^ At RFK Moon Presides Over Mass Wedding, Washington Post, November 30, 1997
  8. ^ University of Bridgeport President Neil Salonen to serve as a national leader in Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, University of Bridgeport press release, March 22, 2002.