GVSU elects 1st female president, Dr. Philomena Mantella

West Michigan
Philomena Mantella and Thomas Haas selfie 012219_1548177281025.png.jpg

Grand Valley State University has elected its first female president.

The GVSU Board of Trustees Tuesday unanimously voted to nominate Dr. Philomena V. Mantella as the school’s fifth president.

The board handed Mantella an “incoming president” nameplate as she took the podium Tuesday. She will get $480,000 in her first year at GVSU, according to a university resolution.

“I’m absolutely humbled and thrilled to be elected Grand Valley State University’s fifth president. I’m deeply honored to accept the presidency this morning,” she said, thanking those who aided in the search.

Mantella earned her doctorate in college and university administration at Michigan State University. She worked as the assistant dean for enrollment services and director of scholarship and financial aid at Ferris State University from 1985 to 1989, her LinkedIn profile states.

“Didn’t we say we’d come back to Michigan someday? And here we are,” Mantella said to her husband during her post-election speech.

Mantella accepted a pin, hug and took a selfie with current GVSU President Thomas J. Haas after her speech.

Mantella is currently the senior vice president and chief executive officer of the Lifelong Learning Network at Northeastern University in Boston. She will remain there until she officially takes over the post at GVSU on July 1, a day after Haas retires.

Haas announced his retirement on Feb. 28, 2018, after 11 and a half years in office.

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