Neil Albert Salonen
Neil Albert Salonen (born 1946) is president of the University of Bridgeport, a private university in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He is a member of the Unification Church and became the president of the Unification Church of the United States in 1972. 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. In 1976 Salonen met with Senator Bob Dole to defend the Unification Church against charges made by its critics, including parents of some members. In that year he was president of the Freedom Leadership Foundation, an anticommunist and pro South Korean propaganda organization, as well as church president. In 1980 Salonen was succeeded as the president of the American church by Mose Durst. 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.. 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."
- For university presidents, it's more than academic, Stamford Advocate, August 31, 2009
- Church members think of Rev. Moon as father, Rock Hill Herald, Associated Press, September 13, 1975
- Nixon Backers Open 72 Hours of Prayer on Capitol Steps, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Associated Press, July 23, 1974
- Dole meeting with Moon aide called cordial, Lawrence Journal-World, February 24, 1976
- The Moonies: What are they really like?, Eugene Register-Guard, August 28, 1976
- Moonie change seen, Modesto Bee, May 8, 1980
- At RFK Moon Presides Over Mass Wedding, Washington Post, November 30, 1997
- 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.