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The Position

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Since its founding as Bucknell University Junior College in 1933, Wilkes University has been led by only five presidents. Through all those subsequent years, the one constant has been an unwavering commitment to provide a liberal arts education that prepares our students for lifelong learning and success. Individualized attention, exceptional teaching, scholarship and academic excellence are the hallmarks of a Wilkes education. Our commitment extends beyond the campus to engage the community around us.

Reporting to the University Board of Trustees, the president is charged with fulfilling the University’s mission to serve students of all ages and the greater community. Guided by the institution’s mission and vision statements, the president leads the institution in implementing the strategic plan to be recognized as a premier small university in the Mid-Atlantic region, dedicated to academic excellence through mentoring.

Wilkes University Presidents:

  • Eugene S. Farley, 1936-1970
  • Francis J. Michelini, 1970-1975
  • Robert Capin, 1975-1984
  • Christopher N. Breiseth, 1984-2001
  • Joseph “Tim” Gilmour, 2001-2012
  • Patrick F. Leahy, Present



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