Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., the 22nd president of Saint Peter’s University, will deliver the Commencement Address at the 180th Commencement of Xavier High School on Thursday, June 9, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Under Dr. Cornacchia’s leadership, Saint Peter’s has expanded its highly regarded undergraduate and graduate programs, initiated the institution’s first doctoral programs, and established three of the four schools at the University, including the Frank J. Guarini School of Business, a School of Nursing, and the Caulfield School of Education. Dr. Cornacchia was instrumental to Saint Peter’s achieving university status and assuming responsibility for St. Aedan’s Church, transitioning the parish church into a university church. St. Aedan’s: The Saint Peter’s University Church enables the University to provide appropriate worship and programmatic space to the Saint Peter’s family and its surrounding community. Dr. Cornacchia has also set fundraising records, securing $64.7 million for Students at the Center: The Campaign for Saint Peter’s University, the largest and most successful campaign to date in the University’s history. Those fundraising records continued this spring after the Saint Peter’s Peacocks’ Cinderella run in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Dr. Cornacchia attended Fordham University and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1976, a master’s degree in political science in 1979, and a Ph.D. in political science in 1985. Prior to becoming the first lay president of Saint Peter’s and after many years of teaching at the University, Dr. Cornacchia served as academic dean and subsequently as provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Dr. Cornacchia and his wife, AnnMarie, have two daughters, Lauren and Katherine, and three grandchildren, Ava, Zachary, and Maximilian.