This morning, the Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Philomena V. Mantella as the university’s fifth president.

The trustees voted unanimously to appoint her to the presidency at a special board meeting held on the Allendale campus.

Mantella is currently the senior vice president and chief executive officer of the Lifelong Learning Network at Northeastern University, a private research university in Boston. She has a Ph.D. in college and university administration from Michigan State University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in social work from Syracuse University.

Mantella will become the fifth president and the first woman appointed president in GVSU’s nearly 60-year history. She will remain at Northeastern University through the academic year and begin work at Grand Valley when current president Thomas J. Haas’ retirement takes effect July 1, 2019. She has been married for 40 years to attorney Robert H. Avery, and has three sons and four grandchildren. Mantella’s 91-year old mother will be joining the couple in West Michigan.

Mantella was recommended by an 18-member advisory committee which was formed to search for the replacement for Haas. The committee was made of up of trustees, faculty, staff members, an alumnus and a representative from the community.