Michael J. Vinciguerra, ’02-’13


Best wishes on your retirement Michael!

On Oct. 4, 2002, Michael J. Vinciguerra, Ph.D., was installed as the eighth president of the University of St. Francis.

Under his leadership the university developed a plan that gave focus and direction in defining USF as a Catholic university in the Franciscan tradition and as “Joliet’s urban university” with a national presence.

He led the campus and Board of Trustees to adopt a 15-year campus master plan that resulted in the acquisition of all campus properties from the founding congregation, along with properties surrounding the university. The plan allowed for major renovations in Marian Hall and the Motherhouse, resulting in the growth of the number of undergraduate students and increased residence hall occupancy.

In May 2012 the largest capital campaign in USF history, the $8 million Continuing the Tradition – Living Our Mission campaign, was successfully completed. In keeping with Franciscan tradition and as outreach to the greater community, a Health and Wellness Center was established in downtown Joliet; the Physician Assistant program, developed in New Mexico to train health care professionals to serve the rural poor, experienced continious growth; and the university’s arts program was moved to a downtown Joliet campus.

During Vinciguerra’s tenure, the university’s first doctoral programs were introduced: the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) Vinciguerra is an active leader in the Joliet/Will County community, including serving on boards for the Presence St. Joseph Medical Center (presently vice chair); the Will County Center for Economic Development; Will County Community Foundation; Joliet Area Historical Museum; and The Upper Room Crisis Hotline. He is past chair of the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium and on the Executive Board of The Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities. In December 2012, he joined the Board of Directors at Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn.

In 2011, Vinciguerra was inducted into the Joliet Will County Project Pride’s Hall of Pride, which recognizes those who contributed to making Joliet a better place to live. In 2012, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce. On May 19, 2013 he will be awarded an honorary doctorate from Lewis University. He serves as an associate of the Sisters of St. Francis.

Born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., Vinciguerra earned his B.S. degree in chemistry from Iona College and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Adelphi University. He completed a program in higher education senior administration offered by the Institute of Educational Management at Harvard University. He began his professional career as an assistant professor of chemistry at the State University of New York – Farmingdale where he achieved the rank of full professor. He later rose to the position of provost and chief academic officer. He served twice as acting president at Farmingdale. In addition, he was instrumental in the creation of a $14 million state-funded Bioscience Park on the Farmingdale campus.

Vinciguerra and his wife, Grace, have been married 42 years.