Gerard “Jerry” J. Joyce

The Mount St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees announced Dec. 14 that Gerard “Jerry” J. Joyce, Ph.D., will be the 27th president in the university’s 215-year history.

Joyce, a Philadelphia native and 32-year higher education veteran, currently serves as executive vice president of DeSales University located in Center Valley near Allentown. He will join the Maryland-based Catholic university effective July 1, 2024.

The announcement described him as “an excellent leader for the next chapter in the history of America’s oldest independent Catholic university.”

As the first non-clergy president in DeSales history, Joyce was instrumental in strategic planning and developing new programs. During his tenure as interim president, DeSales experienced tremendous enrollment growth and enhanced its academic portfolio with revenue-generating academic programs.

Joyce’s previous roles include serving as vice president for student life and dean of enrollment management. He has implemented innovative student recruitment strategies, developed character-building programs, and established international education initiatives. As an adjunct instructor, he taught courses on education philosophy, ethics, leadership, and decision-making.

Joyce holds a doctorate in education administration and policy studies from The Catholic University of America. He earned his masters degree in education from Kutztown University and his bachelor’s degree in finance from DeSales University.

He also served as chair of the Allentown Diocese Board of Education for eight years.