Dr. Antoine Garibaldi, a member of the St. Thomas Board of Trustees and president of Gannon University in Erie, Penn., has been named president of the University of Detroit Mercy.

Garibaldi will become the first lay president of Detroit Mercy when he takes office July 1, the university announced Friday. He succeeds Father Gerard Stockhausen, who stepped down last June. Sister Maureen Fay, another St. Thomas trustee, preceded Stockhausen as Detroit Mercy president.

Dr. Antoine Garibaldi

Dr. Antoine Garibaldi

“Given his tenure as a Catholic university president, (Garibaldi) brings strong leadership skills and extensive experience that will enable UDM to continue its mission of providing a quality academic experience with a Catholic and urban context,” said John Lewis, chair of the Detroit Mercy board.

Detroit Mercy is Michigan’s largest Catholic university and is sponsored by the Society of Jesus and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The University of Detroit and Mercy College merged in 1990 to form Detroit Mercy.

Garibaldi has been president of Gannon since 2001. The New Orleans native earned his Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1976 and worked in the U.S. Department of Education before joining Xavier University of Louisiana, where he taught and served as dean of arts and sciences and vice president for academic affairs. He was provost and chief academic officer at Howard University from 1996 to 2000.

Garibaldi joined the St. Thomas board in 2003 and serves on the Academic Affairs Committee.

 St. Thomas magazine published a profile on Garibaldi in fall 2007.