The President is the chief executive officer of Saint Mary's College of California. In this capacity, the President works with the Board of Trustees, Board of Regents, Cabinet, faculty, staff, students, alumni, benefactors, and friends to advance the vision, mission and values of the College. The President’s staff members provide support for these activities.
Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSC*, Ph.D., became the 28th President of Saint Mary's College of California on Jan. 2, 2005. A seasoned educator, Brother Ronald is deeply devoted to the College's Catholic, Lasallian and liberal arts traditions and is committed to promoting the values of those traditions among students, faculty, staff and friends of Saint Mary's.
From 2007 to 2009, Brother Ronald served as president of the International Association of Lasallian Universities which is a global consortium of 60 Lasallian institutions that promotes excellence in Catholic higher education. He is on the Executive Committee of the Association of Independent Catholic Colleges and Universities (AICCU), which represents 77 private colleges and universities on policy issues with the state and federal government. In addition, Brother Ronald is a member of the board of directors for the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), an organization that helps to foster a vibrant Catholic identity at member institutions and supports cooperation among them for the greater good of society and the Church. He is also the chair of the West Coast Conference (WCC) President's Council. The athletic league is comprised of nine institutions in California, Oregon, Washington, and Utah.
After graduating from Saint Mary's College of California in 1969 with a B.A. in English, he received an M.A. in comparative literature from San Francisco State University in 1975 and earned his doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Washington in 1990. He is fluent in French, German, Italian and Latin with some knowledge of Arabic, Irish and Spanish.
Before assuming the college presidency, Brother Ronald had been a member of the English Department since 1984. Brother Ronald's teaching specialties include 19th and 20th Century Anglo-Irish Literature, the modern novel, and the history and culture of Ireland. His passion for Irish literature began when he read James Joyce's "Ulysses" during his senior year at Saint Mary's. In recent years, he has led several groups of students on tours of the historical and cultural sites of Ireland during the College's January Term.
From 1993 to 1997, Brother Ronald was vice chancellor of Bethlehem University, where he oversaw administration, development, finance and academics. As the leader of a Catholic university in the deeply divided Middle East, he responded to formidable challenges by forging strong regional and global support for the school. Enlisting the help of many countries, individuals, groups, international aid agencies and the Vatican, Brother Ronald was able to raise the funds necessary for Bethlehem University to fulfill its educational mission among the economically disadvantaged Palestinian community.
In his role as Secretary General of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in Rome from 1997 to 2001, Brother Ronald organized the 43rd General Chapter, an international assembly that resulted in a seven-year global strategic plan for Lasallian educators.
Brother Ronald has been a strong supporter of intercollegiate and recreational athletics at Saint Mary's College, having served as moderator of the tennis team. He is also an avid golfer and backpacker.
He was born in Oakland, California, grew up in Santa Cruz and Bakersfield, and joined the Christian Brothers after graduating from Mont La Salle High School in Napa.
*FSC denotes Fratres Scholarum Christianarum (Brothers of the Christian Schools)