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David A. Armstrong, J.D., president at Thomas More College, will serve as the chair of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Presidents’ Council in the 2014-15 academic year, beginning July 1. Armstrong succeeds Troy D. VanAken, Ph.D., president at Thiel College, who served as the PAC’s Presidents’ Council chair in 2013-14.
Armstrong became Thomas More’s 14th president July 1, 2013. He came to the position after serving as vice president and general counsel of Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio for 10 years where he oversaw divisions of the college that set records in enrollment and fundraising. His background in higher education administration at Notre Dame College, Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. and Thiel College in Greenville, Pa. includes a span of experience in development, student life and recruitment, higher education law and policy and athletics.
During his time at Thomas More, Armstrong has launched new initiatives in academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular areas, including the addition of online programs, an athletic training major, a marine biology program, marching band and women’s lacrosse.
Armstrong, a passionate supporter of the 19 men’s and women’s athletic programs at Thomas More, said he is thrilled with this leadership role.
“I am honored and humbled to receive the appointment as chair of the PAC’s Presidents’ Council, especially after 60 fantastic years of serving students. I am grateful to follow the excellent leadership of President Troy Van Aken at Thiel College who served the Presidents’ Council so well last year. As a former coach and athletic director in the PAC, I know very well the legends that have served the PAC over the years and will do my best to serve up to their examples of stewardship,” said Armstrong.
The Presidents’ Council holds ultimate authority and responsibility for PAC governance. The Presidents’ Council is responsible for the establishment, direction, and if necessary, the enforcement of general policy, including the conference office’s annual budget and all other financial matters.
Thomas More is a small, liberal arts college with a big reputation. For instance, Money Magazine ranks Thomas More as one of the “Best College Buys” in higher education. And the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching praises the college as a “selective liberal arts college.”
Founded in 1921 by the Benedictine Sisters as Villa Madonna College, Thomas More now serves just over 1,600 students from across the country and around the world on its beautiful campus in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, just minutes from downtown Cincinnati.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Armstrong holds a Juris Doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (1989) and a bachelor of arts in political science, minor in accounting, from Mercyhurst University (1986).
Armstrong and his wife, Leslie, have two children, David and Johanna.
With Armstrong assuming the chair of the Presidents’ Council, the remaining standing PAC councils will also be chaired by Thomas More representatives throughout the upcoming academic year.
Terry Connor, entering his 15th year as Thomas More’s director of athletics, will serve as the chair of the PAC Athletic Administrators (AA) Council, while assistant director of athletics, senior woman administrator (SWA) and head softball coach Lindsay Bramhall will chair the PAC Senior Woman Administrators Council (SWAC). The PAC Faculty Athletic Representatives Association (PAC FARA) will be chaired by Dr. Cate Sherron, a professor of philosophy at Thomas More.
The PAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) recently elected Chatham University senior soccer and track and field student-athlete Becca Pell (Elizabeth, Pa. / Elizabeth Forward) as its president in 2014-15. Saint Vincent College senior soccer and lacrosse student-athlete Amie Dobracki (Glenshaw, Pa. / Shaler Area) and Washington& Jefferson College junior golfer Amanda Halula (Mechanicsburg, Pa. / Cumberland Valley) will serve as PAC SAAC vice presidents.
Joe Onderko will continue to serve the PAC as its commissioner in 2013-14, beginning his ninth year directing the league and 14th year overall with the conference this fall. Kevin Fenstermacher begins his third year as a member of the PAC staff this fall as the league’s assistant commissioner/director of communications after an 11-year career at conference member Thiel.
Founded in 1955, the Presidents’ Athletic Conference continues its mission of promoting intercollegiate athletics and the pursuit of academic excellence. Consisting of 10 select private institutions in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky, the PAC remains a unique organization in this day of high pressure intercollegiate athletics.
With academics at the center of each member’s philosophy, the PAC is built on the principle that an athletic program is a part of college life, but not an entity in itself. The PAC annually crowns champions in 19 sports (10 men, nine women).
From Thomas More Athletics