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Pappert Named Duquesne University Board Chair

The Duquesne University Board of Directors today named P. David Pappert as chairman, replacing John J. Connelly, whose term is expiring. He was elected to Duquesne’s Board in 1998 and assumed the chair’s role in 2000.

“John Connelly worked tirelessly with the Spiritans and me to achieve unprecedented academic quality and campus growth. His strong leadership has set the stage for even more success,” said President Charles Dougherty.

Connelly, a 1968 and 1971 alumnus, is senior vice president of strategic planning and business development at United States Steel Corp. During his leadership on Duquesne’s Board, Connelly reinvigorated its focus on the University’s Catholic identity and Spiritan mission; led a drive to attract the nationally esteemed business leaders now seated on Duquesne’s Board of Directors; led the search committee that resulted in the hiring of President Charles Dougherty and pushed for fixed term limits for Board members.

“John implemented higher professional standards for the Board, including fixed term limits,” said Dougherty. “Although his insight and expertise will be missed, it is fitting that he would personally abide by the term limits he helped to establish.”

During Connelly’s tenure, the University began a multi-phase development project that will house a recreation center, academic spaces and retail areas, benefiting both the Duquesne community and the University’s neighbors in Uptown. Additionally, Duquesne purchased and remodeled what is now Brottier Hall, apartment style-student housing. The University has also accepted its most academically talented students in history, while bringing in the largest freshman classes four years in a row.

“I am honored to have served Duquesne University during a time of great progress. The collaborative relationship between the Board and the Administration enabled the University to move forward in new ways,” said Connelly. “I’m confident the University will continue on this path of success, benefiting students for years to come.”

A 1960 alumnus, Pappert joined the Board in 1998 and has also served as vice chair of the Board and chair of the finance committee. He is retired from ViON Corp., a provider of technology solutions to the U.S. government, which he founded and served as chairman and CEO. Pappert and his wife, Janet — also a Duquesne graduate — made a contribution to the University to name the Mary Pappert School of Music in honor of his mother. One of his most vivid and cherished memories is that of his mother playing piano, organ and violin in his childhood home on the North Side. The Papperts are members of the Century Club of Distinguished Duquesne University Alumni.

“David Pappert’s dedication as an alumnus, donor and Board member will help us continue our efforts to ensure Duquesne University remains in the top tier of American Catholic education,” Dougherty said.

“David is uniquely poised to continue making a positive impact at Duquesne and will further the efforts initiated under John Connelly’s leadership,” said the Very Rev. Jeffrey T. Duaime, C.S.Sp., chairman of the Duquesne University Corporation and provincial of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit USA-East. “The Spiritan Congregation and the Duquesne University Corporation are grateful to John for his countless hours of service and steadfast focus on the University’s mission.”

Pappert looks forward to serving his alma mater by leading the Board.

"It is with great pride and humility that I begin my new role. During my service on the Board, I have been pleased to be part of the many achievements of the University under the able leadership of President Dougherty,” said Pappert. “As a student, Duquesne University prepared me for a lifetime of professional success and service to community. It will be a crowning privilege in my career to have the opportunity to serve as chair of the Board.”

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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