Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., is the 22nd president of Saint Peter’s University. Under Dr. Cornacchia’s leadership, Saint Peter’s has expanded its highly regarded undergraduate and graduate programs, initiated the institution’s first doctoral programs and established a School of Nursing and a School of Education. He was also instrumental to Saint Peter’s acquiring university status and assuming responsibility for St. Aedan’s Church, transitioning the parish church into a university church. St. Aedan’s: The Saint Peter’s University Church enables the University to provide appropriate worship and programmatic space to the Saint Peter’s family and its surrounding community. In addition, Dr. Cornacchia has set fundraising records, securing $64.7 million for Students at the Center: The Campaign for Saint Peter’s University, the largest and most successful campaign in the University’s 145-year history.
Dr. Cornacchia earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1976 and a master’s degree in political science in 1979 from Fordham University. He also earned a Ph.D. in political science from Fordham University in 1985. Prior to becoming the first lay president of the University and after many years of teaching at Saint Peter’s, Dr. Cornacchia served as academic dean and subsequently as provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Dr. Cornacchia regularly devotes his time to many civic leadership organizations. He is a member of the board of directors and accountability committee for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), chair of the board of directors of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey (AICUNJ), a member of the board of directors of the Independent College Fund of New Jersey and a board member and vice chair of the executive committee for the CarePoint Health Foundation.
Additionally, Dr. Cornacchia serves on the executive board for the New Jersey Presidents’ Council and is a member of the executive board and chair of the finance committee for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). He is also a Third Degree Knight of Columbus.
Two community organizations recognized Dr. Cornacchia for outstanding contributions in 2015. The Rotary Club of Jersey City honored Dr. Cornacchia for Service to Vocations at its “Legacy of Service” awards fundraiser. Black Interest Team Enterprise, an organization dedicated to promoting inclusive communities in Jersey City, recognized Dr. Cornacchia with the Distinguished Leadership Award.
Dr. Cornacchia and his wife, AnnMarie, have two daughters, Lauren and Katherine, and two grandchildren, Ava and Zachary.