Antoine M. Garibaldi

Antoine M. Garibaldi

Photograph of President Antoine  M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.
Contact Info:
Campus: McNichols Campus
Building: Fisher Administration Center
Room: 5th Floor
Phone: 313-993-1455
Photograph of President Antoine  M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.
Areas of Expertise:
Academic Achievement of African-American Males
Effective Schools
Cooperative Learning
Trends in College Enrollment, Access and Graduation
Black Colleges and Universities
School Discipline and Alternative Schools
Teacher Preparation


  • Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota (Major: Educational Psychology, Minor: Social Psychology)
  • B.A., Howard University (Major: Sociology, Minor: Philosophy) Magna Cum Laude


Dr. Antoine M. Garibaldi was the 25th and first lay president of University of Detroit Mercy, a Catholic, Doctoral/Professional 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 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, including Architecture, Dentistry and Law.

In the 2022 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” the University ranked No. 187 in the “Best National Universities” category and is one of only four universities in Michigan ranked among the top 200 in the nation, it is also ranked No. 35 among “Best Value Schools,” No. 121 for “Best Schools for Veterans,” and No. 120 for “Top Performers on Social Mobility.” Additionally, in the 2022 edition of the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings, Detroit Mercy ranked among the top 25% of all U.S. universities, No. 202 out of almost 800 universities that were selected for these 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 2021, Detroit Mercy enrolled its largest freshman class on the McNichols Campus since 2009. In December 2018, The Campaign for University of Detroit Mercy’s goal of $100 million was achieved a year ahead of schedule. The campaign concluded in December 2019 and raised the University’s highest total ever, $114.6 million. In 2020, Detroit Mercy was one of three independent universities recognized for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s 2020 Educational Fundraising Award in Overall Performance for its exceptional fundraising over the last three years. The endowment has increased by 360% since June 2011 from almost $26 million to more than $96 million. Additionally, more than $33 million has been awarded since 2011 for several competitive grants, including a $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); and three first-time ever grants from the U.S. Department of Education: a $1.1 million Student Support Services Program grant; a $1.3 million Upward Bound grant; and a $1.6 million Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant. Significant funding has also been obtained for Live6 Alliance, an economic development organization that Dr. Garibaldi co-founded with The Kresge Foundation in 2015. Live6 Alliance is now a separate non-profit that is focused on enhancing the neighborhoods and businesses around the Livernois Avenue and McNichols Road (Six Mile) corridor.

A tenured Professor of Education and nationally recognized scholar, Dr. Garibaldi is the author of eleven books and more than 90 research articles and chapters. He 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 has been named one of metro Detroit and Michigan’s most powerful business leaders in “The Detroit 500” publication of DBusiness magazine for four consecutive years since 2018.

A recognized leader in national higher education, he currently serves on the boards of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU); Conference for Mercy Higher Education (CMHE); Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA); Horizon League Athletic Conference, which he previously chaired; and the Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities (MICU) Executive Committee. In the local civic community, he is a member of the boards of Brother Rice High School; Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, which he was elected to Chair in December 2021; Invest Detroit; Live6 Alliance; Marygrove Conservancy and New Detroit, Inc.

Some of Dr. Garibaldi’s previous boards and committees include: American Association for Higher Education (Chair); American Council on Education (Secretary); Association of Governing Boards’ Council of Presidents; Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania; Council of Independent Colleges and Universities (Chair); Georgetown University; National Association of College and University Business Officers; National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities; NCAA Division II Presidents Council; NCAA Executive Committee Subcommittee on Gender and Diversity (Chair); University of Saint Thomas (MN); Seton Hall University (NJ); and Wheeling Jesuit University (WV). He is also a former member of the American Council on Education's Commission on Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness.

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, from 3,408 to 4,238 students; the endowment more than doubled to $37.5 million in seven years; 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, which he founded. More than thirty buildings were constructed, acquired and renovated during his tenure at Gannon; and the University was ranked for seven consecutive years in the top tier of Best Regional Universities in the North 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.

Dr. Garibaldi is a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the two oldest African American fraternities founded in 1904 and 1906, respectively. In August 2020, he was elected Grand Sire Archon-Elect (president-elect) of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, also known as the Boulé, and will serve as its leader (Grand Sire Archon) from August 2022-2024. He has chaired the fraternity’s Grand Committee on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Postsecondary Education Access (2018-2020) and was the Chair and Vice Chair of its Grand Social Action Committee in 2006-08 and 2008-10, respectively. He was also a member of the Commission on Young African American Males (2012-14) and the Education Commission (2010-12).

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