Joseph W. Bruno, professor of inorganic and organometallic chemistry and former vice president for academic affairs and provost at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., will take the helm as the 18th president of Marietta College in mid-2012.
Bruno was chosen from among 60 applicants for the position that will be vacated June 30 by Dr. Jean Scott who has served in the presidential post since 2000.
"We wanted someone as committed to the institution as Dr. Scott, and someone who would stick with it. We think we've found the best of the best," said Barbara Fitzgerald, chair of the Marietta College Board of Trustees.
Bruno said Wednesday he's been with Wesleyan since 1984.
"We've made many friends we'll be leaving here on campus, but we're also very excited to be coming to Marietta," he said.
Bruno said he was looking for another liberal arts institution with strong community support and found that with Marietta College..
Dr. Joseph W. Bruno, newly-elected president of Marietta College.
Former vice president for academic affairs and provost at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn.
Currently a Professor of Chemistry at Wesleyan.
Graduate of Augustana College and Northwestern University, Illinois.
Married to Diane Bruno.
Duties at Marietta College begin July 1, 2012.
Past Marietta College presidents:
1835-1846: Joel Harvey Linsley
1846-1855: Henry Smith
1855-1885: Israel Ward Andrews
1885-1891: John Eaton
1892-1896: John Wilson Simpson
1900-1912: Alfred Tyler Perry
1913-1918: George Wheeler Hinman
1919-1936: Edward Smith Parsons
1937-1942: Harry Kelso Eversull
1942-1945: Draper Talman Schoonover
1945-1947: William Allison Shimer
1948-1963: William Bay Irvine
1963-1978: Frank Edward Duddy
1979-1989: Sherrill Cleland
1989-1995: Patrick McDonough
1995-2000: Larry Wilson
2000-2012: Jean Scott
"(Wesleyan) is a very comparable college in relation to liberal arts, but larger, with a student population just under 3,000," he said. "And we're not much older, having been founded in 1831."
Bruno believes his background in academics and administration will be a plus for Marietta College.
"Serving as college president will certainly be different, but I think it will helpful to have the background in both teaching and administration," he said.
"He was very solid and has been long-term at Wesleyan," she said. "We liked that about him. And he has a very fine academic and administrative background. And both he and his wife, Diane, fell in love with Marietta. And Diane also plans to be involved with the college and community."
Fitzgerald said the search for a new president began in the spring after Scott announced her retirement in February. She will move back to her native Virginia once her presidency has ended.
"Jean announced her retirement earlier this year, and during our May meeting we decided to get the search started," Fitzgerald said.
"Over the summer we advertised and got the word out about the position, then in September we went full throttle," she said. "We wanted to get out in front of searches by any other institutions. And we knew the earlier we could find someone the better as it would give them time to get their feet on the ground before taking over in July.
"(Bruno) has some big shoes to fill. Dr. Scott will be leaving him with a solid foundation to build upon," Fitzgerald added. "But he's on board to continue her efforts."
Bruno said it is to the credit of Scott and the college that major projects like the recently-completed upgrades to Don Drumm Field and the current construction of new dorms at the corner of Seventh and Putnam streets have been done.
He said the college's fundraising efforts will also continue.
"Absolutely fundraising must go on," he said. "Anyone who serves as a college president certainly has to realize the importance of fundraising efforts and that will continue into the future."
Speaking on tuition and rising college costs, Bruno said those are challenges facing institutions across the country.
"It's incumbent on all of us to control costs, and to provide opportunities for students to afford a college education," he said. "And we want to impress on those who may not have a family legacy of college that this is the best training ground for a successful career."
A graduate of Augustana College and Northwestern University, Bruno is currently a Professor of Chemistry at Wesleyan. He also completed a thesis parts appointment at Argonne National Laboratory, and then conducted postdoctoral research at Indiana University.
At Wesleyan, Bruno supervised 330 faculty members in 41 departments and programs from 2006-2010 as vice president for academic affairs and provost. In this role, Bruno said he recognized the value of collaborative approaches to educating students about science, and he supported faculty members who pursued collaborative and cross-disciplinary approaches to that aim.
His role was also broad in nature as it included a partnership with the University Relations Office in fundraising, and development and management of a $55 million annual budget.
Bruno secured numerous grants and significant gifts to the college in his career. He also is a lecturer and the author of more than 60 publications.
In addition, Bruno built a reputation as an entrepreneur while at the Wesleyan campus. He is the inventor of a number of patents and explored revenue-generating programs to alleviate budgetary pressures.
One approach that he was closely involved with was the development of a low-residency graduate program in the arts, and he helped design an undergraduate summer term.
Bruno said he will finish teaching during the second semester at Wesleyan before permanently relocating to Marietta. His presidential duties will begin July 1.
Fitzgerald added that the Brunos will be on the Marietta College campus sometime in January for a formal introduction to students, faculty and the community.