AP NEWS

Grand Valley State selects its 1st woman president

January 22, 2019
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Philomena Mantella talks to the media after being named Grand Valley State University's new president during the board meeting at the Kirkhof Center Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019 in Allendale Township, Mich. Mantella's previous role was vice president and CEO of Lifelong Learning at Northeastern University in Boston. (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

ALLENDALE, Mich. (AP) — Grand Valley State University has selected a woman as the western Michigan school’s president for the first time in its history.

The appointment of Philomena Mantella as the school’s president was unanimously approved Tuesday during a special board meeting at the university’s Allendale campus. She says in a statement that the school is among those helping to “carry the promise of a degree and a path to prosperity for learners from all backgrounds.”

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

She’ll replace Thomas Haas, who earlier announced plans to retire this year as the school’s president.