Saint Martin’s University names William Brownsberger, STD, as 12th president

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LACEY, Wash. - William “Bill” Brownsberger, STD, was unanimously selected as the 12th president of Saint Martin’s University following a competitive nationwide search by the University Board of Trustees. Dr. Brownsberger currently serves as the vice president of academic affairs and workforce solutions at Mountain Empire Community College in Virginia. He will assume the presidency on July 1.

“We look forward to this next chapter for Saint Martin’s with Dr. Brownsberger’s leadership,” said Medrice Coluccio, chair of the University Board of Trustees. “With leadership transition comes a spirit of potentiality and opportunity to reimagine our future while honoring our Catholic Benedictine tradition in service of today’s and tomorrow’s students.” 

Dr. Bill Brownsberger

Dr. Brownsberger brings 23 years of higher education experience to the role, rising through the faculty ranks and into administration at several Catholic institutions in the U.S. and Italy. In his current position at Mountain Empire Community College, he works closely with external community and industry partners to build workforce development pathways for students and the region, manages division finances and engages with students and other stakeholders in the academic affairs of the college. Previously, he served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, where he led the college’s fundraising revenue generation efforts, faculty workloads and scheduling, and budget management. 

“Dr. Brownsberger’s experience at other Catholic colleges and universities will be an asset at Saint Martin’s University as we continue our 128-year tradition of providing a uniquely Catholic Benedictine education,” said Abbot Marion Nguyen, O.S.B., chancellor of Saint Martin’s University. “We welcome Dr. Brownsberger and his family to our academic community and look forward to the next chapter of our university’s future with his leadership and vision.”

The Presidential Search Committee consisted of 15 representatives from the Saint Martin’s community, spanning Saint Martin’s Abbey, faculty, staff, students, Board of Trustees and the Archdiocese of Seattle. Entrusted with the mission of finding a president capable of guiding Saint Martin's towards greater financial stability and academic distinction, the committee sought individuals with strategic foresight and a commitment to transparent servant leadership. Their objective was to uphold the institution's compassionate, transformative educational ethos within the framework of the Catholic Benedictine tradition. 

“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Saint Martin’s University and honored by the trust this community has placed in me as its next president,” shared Dr. Brownsberger. “I look forward to working with the talented faculty, staff, administration, trustees, and monks toward a bright future of service to students in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.” 

Dr. Brownsberger will assume the position following an interim leadership transition with Father Kilian Malvey, O.S.B., and Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D., serving as interim co-presidents. Dr. Heynderickx served as university president for 14 years before retiring in 2022. He returned to lead the institution, along with Father Malvey, while the national presidential search was conducted. 

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we thank Dr. Roy Heynderickx and Father Kilian Malvey for their steadfast leadership as interim co-presidents,” said Coluccio. “This dynamic pair of leaders has served with dedication and compassion during this transition period.” 

Dr. Brownsberger earned his Doctor of Sacred Theology and his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. He earned his Master of Arts in Theology from The Catholic University of America and his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Dallas. He is joined by his wife Francesca, and seven children. 

Saint Martin’s University is an independent coeducational university, with undergraduate and graduate offerings, located on a wooded campus of more than 380 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University empowers students to pursue a lifetime of learning and accomplishment through its 31 majors, 11 master’s programs, one doctorate program and seven certificate programs spanning the arts and sciences, business, counseling, education, engineering, nursing, and leadership. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. 


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