Pittsburgh lawyer/higher ed. leader named president at Gwynedd Mercy U.

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Gwynedd Mercy University has appointed a western Pennsylvania college leader as its next president.


Deanne Horner D’Emilio, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, which is also sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, will begin her term as the sixth president of Gwynedd Mercy on Aug. 1.

She succeeds Kathleen Owens, who has been the president of the Gwynedd Valley school for 15 years.


D’Emilio, 56, a lawyer, joined Carlow in 2013 as dean of the school of management and dean of the graduate school. Before that, she spent 15 years on the faculty and in administrative roles at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, another Mercy institution.





“She brings outstanding experience with program growth and development, strategic planning and program prioritization, accreditation, and assessment that will benefit the university as it faces the future,” said Nancy Dunleavy, chair of the board of trustees.

D’Emilio has a bachelor’s in education from Westminster College, a master’s in higher education and student affairs from Bowling Green State University and a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She practiced law for 11 years before going into a higher education career. 

She is married to Matthew D’Emilio, an administrator at Carnegie Mellon University, and they have two grown children.

D’Emilio said she was thrilled to join Gwynedd Mercy.




“Gwynedd Mercy University is known for its academic excellence exemplified by a commitment to an education grounded in the liberal arts with an emphasis on the development of professional competency and an ethic of service in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy,” she said in a statement. “These strong values are exactly what are needed in higher education and in the world today.”






















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