Saint Mary’s Welcomes the Return of Beseda as Vice President of Enrollment and Communications

August 3, 2021

MORAGA, Calif. – Saint Mary’s College of California President Richard Plumb announced today the addition of Michael Beseda as the new Vice President of Enrollment and Communications for the college. Beseda returns to his alma mater beginning Aug. 16.

Beseda is no stranger to Saint Mary’s, having graduated from the college and working in several capacities, including Vice President for College Communications and Enrollment prior to leaving in 2013.

“Michael will be a tremendous addition to our college as we continue to build for the future,” Plumb said. “He has a proven track record of developing highly successful strategic marketing efforts and of growing enrollment at multiple universities, including his time at Saint Mary’s.”

Beseda has been the Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management at the University of San Francisco since 2016, leading recruitment, admission, enrollment and financial services, university registrar duties, and enrollment communication. During his service at USF, the University achieved record levels of new student enrollment, increased its already extraordinary student diversity, extended its global reach, and achieved a top 100 national university ranking. Most notably the enrollment of new black identified students more than doubled with that group projected to make up 17% of a remarkably large fall 2021 entering class. Prior to USF, he was the Vice President for Enrollment and Communications at Willamette University in Oregon. At both Willamette and Saint Mary’s, his institutional and enrollment specific marketing initiatives gained national recognition from CASE.

“I left Saint Mary’s to have the opportunity to take on new challenges in enrollment and marketing. My experiences over the past eight years developing an institutional marketing plan for a highly regarded national liberal arts university, running a global student recruitment effort with offices in Bangkok and Beijing, and extending the national and international footprint of a top national research university – to name a few - have given me the opportunity to hone skills, talents, and techniques that will help me assist Saint Mary’s in strengthening its reputation and enrollment reach.”

At both Willamette and USF, Beseda partnered with faculty leaders on a review of test policies in admission that resulted in those institutions adopting test optional admission policies. Recognized nationally as an enrollment and communications leader in efforts to create more inclusive admission practices and to more closely align enrollment and marketing efforts with educational values, Beseda was a founding board member of the Education Conservancy — a national nonprofit based in Portland committed to improving college admission processes for students. He also is an original member of Harvard University’s Turning the Tide initiative, an effort to reshape the college admissions process by promoting greater ethical engagement among aspiring students, and leveling the playing field for economically disadvantaged students.

Beseda began his career at Saint Mary’s and worked in Moraga for more than three decades, starting as an admissions counselor and advancing to vice president for college communications and enrollment.

Beseda graduated summa cum laude from the “great books” program at Saint Mary’s. He earned a master’s degree in comparative literature from San Francisco State University, and completed doctoral coursework in policy studies in higher education at UC Berkeley.