Patrick F. Leahy, Ed.D.
Dr. Patrick F. Leahy joined Monmouth University as president on August 1, 2019. He was unanimously selected by the Board of Trustees and other members of the Presidential Search Committee following a comprehensive nationwide search.
Dr. Leahy comes to Monmouth from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he served a successful seven-year term as president. At Wilkes, Dr. Leahy was instrumental in the development of the Gateway to the Future Strategic Plan, a comprehensive roadmap that advanced the university’s commitment to academic excellence, encouraged research and discovery, and strengthened the campus infrastructure. The plan set the stage for key initiatives and accomplishments, including the introduction of 20 new academic programs and the university’s first honors program; strategic enrollment growth in online master’s programs and doctoral degrees, including the launch of the university’s first Ph.D. program; and investments in faculty scholarship and research, resulting in the university’s first five patents. In order to enhance the student experience and to strengthen undergraduate enrollment, Wilkes University launched seven new NCAA Division III athletic teams and the region’s only collegiate marching band.
Fully embracing the Wilkes University mission of being a community-minded private institution, Dr. Leahy initiated numerous innovative partnerships with external organizations. These collaborative efforts resulted in the development of a business incubator within the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, the relocation of the Family Business Alliance to the Wilkes campus, and the creation of the SHINE after-school program, which now serves more than 600 of the most economically disadvantaged K-8 students in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
He also led efforts to complete over $100 million in transformative campus enhancements, including the construction and renovation of five academic buildings to support learning in arts, communications, sciences, engineering, health care, and business. This initiative also included major investments in athletics and residence halls, as well as the development of the university’s signature Campus Gateway Project.
To support these numerous initiatives, the university launched the Gateway to the Future Campaign, which raised more than $55 million in commitments for capital projects, faculty support, and scholarships. Recognizing the need to provide additional annual support for Wilkes University students, Dr. Leahy established the annual Founders Gala, which brings together alumni, friends, and corporate partners in support of the First Generation Scholarship Fund. Each Founders Gala raises over $600,000 in annual scholarships for students who are the first in their families to pursue a four-year college education.
In 2017, Wilkes University signed on as a founding partner of the United Nations Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises Day, a global effort to promote small businesses and their crucial role in eradicating poverty. As part of this initiative, Dr. Leahy delivered two addresses to international delegations at the United Nations in New York City on the important role that colleges and universities can play in this international effort.
Under Dr. Leahy’s leadership, Wilkes University earned the distinction of becoming a Doctoral/Professional University under the Carnegie Classifications, continuing the institution’s evolution from a junior college in 1933 to a doctoral university today. This major accomplishment reflects a significant increase in the number of doctoral degrees granted by the university. During the 2018–19 academic year, Wilkes conferred 160 doctoral degrees in pharmacy, nursing, and education—an increase of 100 percent in the past seven years.
Prior to his time at Wilkes, Dr. Leahy was a senior administrative leader at The University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He first served as vice president for university relations, successfully completing a $129 million comprehensive capital campaign. He was then promoted to executive vice president, where he was responsible for development, government relations, undergraduate and graduate enrollment, intercollegiate athletics, planning, and information technology. Dr. Leahy also taught in the Business Leadership Honors Program.
Before moving to Scranton, Dr. Leahy was co-founder and president of the Business Affairs Forum, a 15,000-member distance learning community for alumni of the nation’s MBA programs. He has also worked as an investment officer for a venture capital firm, as an account executive for a Fortune 500 company, and as a development officer for his alma mater, Georgetown University.
A native of Towson, Maryland, Dr. Leahy holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Georgetown University, where he spent his junior year abroad at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland. He earned two master’s degrees from Cornell University in business administration and in labor relations, where he was both a Fried Fellow and a CEED Fellow, the latter of which afforded him an opportunity to live and work in Moscow, Russia for 10 weeks in the summer of 1996. In 2009, he earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Pennsylvania, focusing his dissertation research on organizational change in higher education.
Dr. Leahy and his wife of 24 years, Amy, have four children: Grace (21), Molly (19), Jack (15), and Brian (13).