Online Press KitDavid A. Armstrong, J.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Thomas More College
David A. Armstrong, J.D. became Thomas More College's 14th president July 1, 2013. He came to the position after serving as Vice President and General Counsel of Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio for 10 years where he oversaw divisions of the college that set records in enrollment and fundraising. His background in higher education administration at Notre Dame College, Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. and Thiel College in Greenville, Pa. includes a span of experience in development, student life and recruitment, higher education law and policy and athletics. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Armstrong holds a Juris Doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (1989) and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Minor in Accounting, from Mercyhurst University (1986).
At Notre Dame College, he was instrumental in increasing enrollment and retention and secured the largest gift ($2.1 million) in college history at that time. In addition, he developed new academic programs and initiatives and led a re-branding campaign in 2010. Under his guidance, Notre Dame College experienced the fastest first-time freshman enrollment growth of any small private college in the nation in its Carnegie classification.
During his time at Thomas More College, Armstrong defined has launched new initiatives in academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular areas, including the addition of online programs, an athletic training major, a marine biology program, marching band and women's lacrosse. The campus has also become tobacco-free. Armstrong is ambitiously working with staff to increase enrollment and has taken his passion for Thomas More College to the airwaves, recording radio commercials that promote the institution, and has excelled in social media efforts. Campus beautification efforts were instituted in the first month that Armstrong took office, with lamp posts and curbs painted in traditional Thomas More College blue. All of these efforts tie into Armstrong's vision for the college: 1) To live our core mission, 2) To increase resources through enrollment and fundraising, 3) To expand the college brand, 4) To enhance the distinctive and transformative experience that is a Thomas More College education. In 2013, the College's U.S. News & World Report ranking improved 8 points from 49th to 41st.
Under his leadership, the College has embarked upon a growth initiative and has made strides in a variety of areas. Armstrong has strengthened business relationships for the College, he has motivated faculty and staff toward a culture of improvement and urgency, and he has demonstrated significant involvement in campus and community events in an effort to increase awareness about Thomas More College. The College has also taken many steps to financially assist students, including the addition of financial aid for the 5th year student and implementing the Saints Experience which eliminates the burden of purchasing textbooks, has increased the Legacy Scholarship and has added the Life Transformation Scholarship. He has seen firsthand how a Thomas More College education transforms lives by embarking upon alumni visits nationwide as part of his industry travels.
As a senior at Mercyhurst University, Armstrong received the Carpe Diem Award, which is the highest award given to a graduating senior. He is a member of three Halls of Fame: the Football Hall of Fame and Athletic Hall of Fame at Mercyhurst University, and the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame at St. Peter Chanel High School. In 2013, he was commissioned by Governor Steve Beshear as a Kentucky Colonel, which is the highest title bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Armstrong's lifelong passion for Catholic education stems from his own experience growing up in Catholic schools. As one of seven children, he attended parochial grade school and high school (St. Peter Chanel, where he is a member of the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame), and was one of the four siblings who earned a Catholic college education. Armstrong is an expert on higher education law, specifically on future trends of higher education policies and procedures, Clery Act and Title IX issues. He and his wife, Leslie, have two children, David and Johanna.
David A. Armstrong, J.D.
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