Nancy H. Blattner, president of Caldwell University in New Jersey, has been named president of Fontbonne University beginning in July 2020. Blattner formerly served as vice president and dean for academic affairs at Fontbonne before assuming the presidency at Caldwell, a Catholic liberal arts university, in 2009.
“Dr. Blattner was highly regarded in her time at Fontbonne and we are thrilled to bring her back to campus as our next president,” said Dennis G. Gipson, chair of the board of trustees. “Her familiarity with our mission, existing reputation with many of our faculty, and recent experience leading a similar Catholic university make her an ideal choice for Fontbonne, especially as we approach our 100th year and plan for the next century.”
A native of Cape Girardeau, Blattner’s ties to the region extend beyond her tenure at Fontbonne. She previously served at Southeast Missouri State University as academic associate, Office of the Provost; associate dean, School of University Studies; and director of writing assessment.
“I am deeply honored to be appointed as Fontbonne’s next president,” said Blattner. “Since leaving in 2009, the university and campus community have maintained a special place in my heart and my prayers. The commitment of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet to the dear neighbor without distinction has informed my approach to the presidency at Caldwell University for the past 10 years. I look forward to reconnecting with the sisters and entire Fontbonne community next summer.”
Sister Barbara Jennings, a longtime member of the Fontbonne University board of trustees and former non-profit executive, was named chancellor of Fontbonne University Sept. 4. She will be responsible for guiding the spiritual and cultural transitions as the school prepares for its next president. By appointing Sister Barbara to the on-campus position, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are reaffirming their commitment to the university they founded in 1923, according to a news release from Fontbonne. While some schools maintain a permanent chancellor position, Fontbonne has reserved the role for special projects and circumstances. “Fontbonne is uniquely blessed to maintain a relationship with the sisters who founded the school and continue to support its mission. Having Sister Barbara here to interact with the students, faculty and our community supporters shows the deep commitment they have for this university,” said Dennis G. Gipson, chair of the board of trustees. Sister Barbara earned a master’s degree in theological studies from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in English literature and secondary education from Fontbonne.
Next Chapter program
Members are being sought for the third cohort of the Next Chapter Program. Offered through Saint Louis University’s Office of Mission and Identity, the six-month guided discernment program begins in October and is for people with an impending or recent retirement. Rooted in Ignatian Spirituality, the program provides participants with a spiritual setting to formally discern moving from one life chapter to the next. An information session will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, in Boileau Hall on the campus of Saint Louis University. The session is expected to last about an hour and a half. Applications will be distributed via email after the information sessions. To RSVP, email Tom Auffenberg at [email protected].
St. Patrick Center, 800 N. Tucker Blvd., is holding an open house on its Housing First programs and services to help people build permanent, positive change in their lives. Come to the Welcome Center entrance (facing the former Post-Dispatch building) on Thursday, Sept. 26, between 2-4:30 p.m. Food and beverages will be provided along with information about the ways that St. Patrick Center helps people secure safe, affordable housing, find employment, and address behavioral health issues.