Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.


Antoine  M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.
Contact Info:
Campus: McNichols Campus
Building: FAC
Room: 5th Floor
Phone: 313-993-1455
Antoine  M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota


Dr. Antoine M. Garibaldi is the 25th and first lay president of University of Detroit Mercy, a Catholic, Master’s Comprehensive University sponsored by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and the Religious Sisters of Mercy. Founded in 1877 by the Jesuits, University of Detroit consolidated in 1990 with Mercy College of Detroit, which was founded in 1941 by the Religious Sisters of Mercy. University of Detroit Mercy is the largest Catholic university in Michigan and has more than 5,100 students in undergraduate and graduate academic programs, including professional programs in Architecture, Dentistry and Law. 

For the 18th consecutive year, Detroit Mercy was listed in the top tier of universities in the Midwest Region in the 2019 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges.” Detroit Mercy ranked No. 25. The University also earned a No. 17 ranking for Best Colleges for Veterans in the Midwest Region and was ranked No. 35 nationally for Best Value Schools. Additionally, the University ranked No. 193 out of 1,054 universities in the U.S. in the 2019 edition of the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings.

Since June 2011, Dr. Garibaldi has led Detroit Mercy in accomplishing multiple strategic goals in enrollment and retention, academics, fundraising and community engagement. In Fall 2018, the University enrolled its fourth consecutive and larger first-year class and its second largest class in 24 years. In December 2018, The Campaign for University of Detroit Mercy’s goal of $100 million was achieved a year ahead of schedule. The campaign continues through 2019. In addition to the $100 million raised for the campaign, more than $33 million has been received for several major grants for varied purposes such as: $1.5 million from the Ford Foundation; $750,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; a $21.2 million BUILD grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in collaboration with three other Detroit colleges and universities; and two first-time ever grants from the United States Department of Education: a $1.1 million Student Support Services Program grant ; and a $1.3 million Upward Bound grant. Significant funds have also been obtained for Live6 Alliance, an economic development organization that he co-founded with The Kresge Foundation to strengthen the Livernois Avenue and McNichols Road commercial corridor.

A tenured Professor of Education and nationally recognized for his more than three decades of teaching, scholarly work and administrative experience in education and the federal government, Dr. Garibaldi is a Fellow of both the American Educational Research Association and the American Psychological Association, which recognizes “exceptional psychologists who have made unique, outstanding and national contributions to the field.” In 2015, he was selected among Crain’s Detroit Business “100 Most Connected People in Detroit;” and he was named one of metro Detroit and Michigan’s most powerful business leaders in “The Detroit 500” publication of DBusiness magazine in 2018.

A longtime leader in national higher education organizations, he currently serves on the boards of the: Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities’ (AJCU) Executive Committee; Georgetown University; Horizon League Athletic Conference, which he chaired from 2013 to 2015; and the Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities (MICU) Executive Committee. Locally, he is a member of the boards of Brother Rice High School; Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA); Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau and its Executive Committee; Detroit Police Chief’s Community Advisory Board; Invest Detroit; Live6 Alliance; and New Detroit, Inc. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, also known as the Boulé. He currently serves on the Grand Committee on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Postsecondary Access of Sigma Pi Phi.

Dr. Garibaldi has previously served on numerous boards and committees including: Association of Governing Boards’ (AGB) Council of Presidents; University of Saint Thomas (MN); Detroit Amazon Headquarters II Bid Committee; United Way for Southeastern Michigan Campaign Cabinet; National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), where he was Secretary of the Board; Co-Chair for the Children/Youth Development, Education and Recreation Subcommittee of the Detroit Mayor-elect’s Transition Team in 2013; American Council on Education, where he was Secretary of the Board; National Association of College and University Business Officers; U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops National Review Board; Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania; Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), which he chaired from 2006 to 2008; NCAA Division II Presidents Council (2005-09) and Chair of the NCAA’s Executive Committee Subcommittee on Gender and Diversity. Dr. Garibaldi was also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) in 2001-02 and served on the Board from 1995-2003. Additionally, he is a former member of the American Council on Education's Commission on Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness, Wheeling Jesuit University’s (WV) Board of Directors, and Seton Hall (N.J.) University's Board of Directors and Board of Regents. He served as Chairman of the Grand Social Action Committee of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity in 2006-08, Vice Chairman in 2008-10, and was a member of the fraternity’s Education Commission from 2010 to 2012 and the Commission for Young African American Males in 2012 to 2014.

Prior to joining University of Detroit Mercy, Dr. Garibaldi was the sixth President of Gannon University for nine and a half years from 2001 to 2010. During his tenure, enrollment increased by 24 percent – more than 830 students – to 4,238 students; the endowment more than doubled; more than $40 million was raised for the largest comprehensive campaign in Gannon's history, which included more than $31.5 million in private gifts, two first-ever multi-million dollar federal grants from the U.S. Department of Education, major grants from the National Science Foundation and other foundations, and more than $5 million of federal and state grants to establish the Erie Technology Incubator. Additionally, during his decade at Gannon, more than thirty buildings were constructed, acquired and renovated; and the University was ranked for seven consecutive years in the top tier of Northern Best Regional Universities by U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” in its 2005-2011 editions. Gannon was also ranked in the Great Schools, Great Prices category for five years and as a Top Up-and-Coming School in 2009.

He has received numerous honors, including four honorary doctorates from Our Lady of Holy Cross College (LA), Seton Hall University, Gannon University and University of Saint Thomas (MN); the Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota; the Howard University Alumni Award for Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement in the field of education; the Papal honor of Knight of St. Gregory the Great; the National Service Award from the International Salute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; “Person of the Year Award” from the University of Notre Dame Club of Erie; and the Michigan Chronicle’s 2013 Men of Excellence Award.

Some of his previous professional positions include: Senior Fellow in the Office of the Vice President for Collaborations and Corporate Secretary at the Educational Testing Service in 2000-01; Howard University's first Provost and Chief Academic Officer and tenured Professor in the School of Education between 1996 and 2000; and at Xavier University of Louisiana, between 1982 and 1996, he served successively as Chairman of the Education Department, Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Between 1977 and 1982, he was a federal government administrator and researcher at the U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute of Education, where he was also a staff member of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, which produced the landmark report, A Nation at Risk.

A native of New Orleans, he received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Howard University and his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Last updated January 2019