Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.

Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.


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 is 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 2020 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” Detroit Mercy was elevated into the category of “Best National Universities” and ranked No. 179. It is one of only four universities in Michigan ranked among the top 200 in the nation. Detroit Mercy also ranked No. 45 among “Best Value Schools” and No. 133 for “Best Schools for Veterans.” Additionally, in the 2020 edition of the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings, it ranked among the top 20% of all U.S. universities, No. 172 out of almost 1,000 institutions of higher education 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 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. Additionally, more than $33 million has been awarded since 2011 for several competitive grants such as 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 two first-time ever grants from the U.S. Department of Education: a $1.1 million Student Support Services Program grant and a $1.3 million Upward Bound grant. Significant funding has also been obtained for Live6 Alliance, an economic development organization which Dr. Garibaldi co-founded with The Kresge Foundation in 2015. Live6 Alliance is now a separate non-profit that is focused on strengthening the Livernois Avenue and McNichols Road commercial corridor.

A tenured Professor of Education and nationally noted 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 was named one of metro Detroit and Michigan’s most powerful business leaders in “The Detroit 500” publication of DBusiness magazine in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

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); Georgetown University; 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 Institute of Arts (DIA); Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, where he serves as Vice Chair; Detroit Police Chief’s Community Advisory Board; Invest Detroit; Live6 Alliance; 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); 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 (NJ); Wheeling Jesuit University (WV), and University. He is also a former member of the American Council on Education's Commission on Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness.

Dr. Garibaldi is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, also known as the Boulé. In August 2020, he was elected Grand Sire Archon-Elect (president-elect) of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, the oldest African American fraternity in the country founded in 1904, and will serve as Grand Sire Archon (president) from August 2022 – 2024. He chaired the Grand Committee on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Postsecondary Education Access from 2018 to 2020; was a member of the fraternity’s Commission on Young African American Males from 2012 to 2014 and the Education Commission from 2010 to 2012; and served as Chairman of the Grand Social Action Committee of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity in 2006-08 and as Vice Chairman in 2008-10.

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, 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 other 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 in Sociology from Howard University and his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota.