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Richard Guarasci (left), Warren Procci
Richard Guarasci (left), Warren Procci

At the beginning of this morning’s meeting of the Wagner College Board of Trustees, Chairman Warren Procci led the trustees in observing an extraordinary historic milestone. Here is the text of his remarks.

On July 1, 2016, Richard Guarasci became the longest-serving president in the college’s history.

He began serving as the president of Wagner College on June 1, 2002, after five years’ service as the college’s provost.

Before becoming provost, Richard Guarasci had been amply prepared for leadership on Grymes Hill by nearly two dozen years in the academy, first as a professor and dean at St. Lawrence University, then as dean of Hobart College.

Richard Guarasci is the 18th person to head Wagner College on a permanent basis, but only the 12th to serve as its president — a title the college only began using after its move from Rochester, New York to Staten Island in 1918.

Richard Guarasci’s longevity of service at the helm of Wagner College now exceeds that of the only two people previously named president emeriti of the college: Arthur Ole Davidson, who served as president from Aug. 1, 1961 to Aug. 31, 1975; and Norman R. Smith, who served from May 19, 1988 to May 31, 2002.

As provost, Richard Guarasci was responsible for the creation of Wagner College’s signature curriculum, the Wagner Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts. As president, he has overseen the construction of our first new residential facility in 41 years, Foundation Hall, and the complete exterior restoration of the college’s architectural signature, Main Hall. Under his leadership, the college’s endowment has grown from $5 million to $80 million — and more is still to come.

For all he has done, the Board of Trustees of Wagner College thanks and congratulates its longest-serving president, Richard Guarasci.

And for all he has still to do, we say: Lead on, Richard!

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