Sacred Heart University Names Interim President

News Story: October 1, 2010
Dr. John Petillo

Dr. Anthony J. Cernera has informed the Board of Trustees that after several months of reflection, he intends to resign as president of Sacred Heart University so that he can pursue his work as a professor and his leadership roles in national and international Catholic educational organizations. The Board has appointed Dr. John Petillo, dean of the John F. Welch College of Business, as interim president effective immediately.

Petillo, who has been at the University since March 2009, previously was chancellor at Seton Hall University and held several executive positions at companies including BlueCross BlueShield and the Newark Alliance in New Jersey.

“I look forward to working with the faculty in an aggressive collegial manner,” Petillo said. “I believe it’s vital for us to focus on the quality of education we provide and continue to strengthen Sacred Heart as a Catholic university.”

Chairman of the Board, Bishop William E. Lori said he was confident Petillo would continue the tradition of excellence that has characterized Sacred Heart since its founding.

Vice Chairman James T. Morley praised Cernera for his 22 years of dedication to the University and all that he had accomplished and said the Board wished him well for his efforts.

The school continues to break records for the number of applications it receives each year, and it welcomed its largest freshman class ever in 2010. More than 6,000 undergraduates and graduate students make it the second-largest Catholic university in New England.

To read John Petillo's bio, click here.