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The Association of Marianist Universities (AMU) has appointed Brother Thomas Giardino, S.M., to serve as its new executive director beginning July 1, 2019. He will replace Steve Neiheisel, a University of Dayton political science professor and Catholic education scholar.

A 1965 UD graduate, Brother Tom currently serves as the assistant for special projects to the Office of Education for the Marianist Province of the United States. Some of his previous positions include service as the executive director of the International Center for Marianist Formation and in Rome as the international director of education and general assistant for education on the Society of Mary general administration.

Father James Fitz, S.M., University of Dayton vice president for mission and rector, praised Brother Tom’s work to promote formation opportunities for lay employees.

“Brother Tom played an important role in the development of the Marianist Educational Associates program at the three Marianist Universities, an opportunity for our lay colleagues to develop a deep appreciation of our Catholic and Marianist mission and identity and to find ways of incorporating that vision into their daily work at the University,” Fitz said.

He is a trustee at St. Mary’s University and UD, and was on the board of trustees at Chaminade University from 2015-18. The Association of Marianist Universities is comprised of UD, St. Mary’s and Chaminade, the three Marianist universities in the United States.

“Brother Tom’s deep understanding of the Marianist charism, as well as his ability to engage lay and professed Marianists in formational experiences, is key to helping our Marianist institutions better achieve our missions and enable our faculty, staff and administrators to be leaders in American and Catholic higher education,” St. Mary’s University president and AMU board chair Thomas M. Mengler said in a written announcement.

This will be Brother Tom’s second tenure as AMU executive director; he held the position from 2012-15.

“With his more recent service as provincial assistant for education and as a trustee on all three Marianist university boards, Brother Tom returns with a fresh understanding of our ministries, cultures and people,” Mengler said. “His expanded perspective enhances his ability to support, promote and advance Marianist higher education and the collaboration and exchange of experiences among the institutions.”