Online Press KitDavid A. Armstrong, J.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Thomas More College
David A. Armstrong, J.D., was named the 14th president of Thomas More College July 1, 2013. He came to the position after serving as Vice President and General Counsel of Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio for 10 years where he oversaw divisions of the college that set records in enrollment and fundraising. His background in higher education administration at this institution as well as Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. and Thiel College in Greenville, Pa. includes a span of experience in development, student life and recruitment, higher education law and policy and athletics. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Armstrong holds a Juris Doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Mercyhurst University, having majored in Political Science and minored in Accounting.
At Notre Dame College, he was instrumental in increasing enrollment and retention and secured the largest gift ($2.1 million) in college history at that time. In addition, he developed new academic programs and initiatives and led a re-branding campaign in 2010. Armstrong also helped bolster enrollment (made up of students from 20 states and about 10 foreign countries) from 800 students in 2003 to 2400 students in 2013, more than doubling the population in ten years. Under his guidance, Notre Dame College experienced the fastest first-time freshman enrollment growth of any small private college in the nation in its Carnegie classification. As a result, the college constructed new residence halls and acquired existing buildings adjacent to the campus to facilitate the growth. In addition, as General Counsel for Notre Dame College, Armstrong managed all legal concerns facing the institution and has become a noted speaker on higher education law and policy.
Before Notre Dame College, Armstrong served as athletic director at Holy Name High School in Parma, Ohio where he gained valuable insight on what prospective college students are looking for in the collegiate experience. Prior to that, he spent five years at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., as Interim Dean of Enrollment Management, athletic director and head football coach. Like Thomas More College, Thiel is a member of the Presidents' Athletic Conference. During his seven years working at Mercyhurst, he served in a variety of roles within the alumni relations, advancement, athletics, residence life and was an adjunct faculty member. Most notably, he helped secure a $1 million charitable trust, the college’s largest gift at that time.
In his first 30 days as president of Thomas More College, Armstrong defined short-term goals to launch new initiatives in academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular areas, including the addition of online programs, an athletic training major, marching band and women's lacrosse. He is also in the process of leading the charge to enhance the college's art studios. Armstrong is ambitiously working with staff to increase enrollment and has taken his passion for Thomas More College to the airwaves, recording radio commercials that promote the institution. One of his first steps as president was to create a seamless student experience and to offer alumni and donors a more convenient location to meet with staff by relocating the Student Services and Institutional Advancement departments. Campus beautification efforts were instituted in the first month that Armstrong took office, with lamp posts and curbs painted in traditional Thomas More College blue. All of these efforts tie into Armstrong's vision for the college: 1) To increase resources through enrollment and fundraising, 2) To expand the college brand, 3) To enhance the distinctive and transformative experience that is indicative of a Thomas More College education.
Armstrong's steadfast determination to make a difference is fueled by a desire to multi-task and exceed expectations as evidenced by his many successes throughout his academic, athletic and professional careers. While a student at Mercyhurst, Armstrong was a recipient of the highest award given to a graduating senior, the Carpe Diem Award, was a GTE Academic All-American and was inducted in the Football and Athletic Hall of Fame. He also served as student government president, a resident advisor and was a Rhodes Scholar candidate. During law school, he served as assistant to the prosecutor for the City of Lakewood, Ohio and as a high school assistant football coach.
His love of academics, athletics and law have inspired his career, while service to his community has always been a priority. Armstrong has maintained a general legal practice in Ohio and Pennsylvania through the years. Additionally, he served on the Advisory Board for the Academic Support Center (ASC) for Students with Learning Differences at Notre Dame College, the Board for St. Mary’s Seminary and the Sisters of Notre Dame India Mission Board. He plans to continue making a difference and serving others in his new home community of Northern Kentucky.
Armstrong's lifelong passion for Catholic education stems from his own experience growing up in Catholic schools. As one of seven children, he attended parochial grade school and high school (St. Peter Chanel, where he is a member of the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame), and was one of the four siblings who earned a Catholic college education. Armstrong is a frequent speaker on higher education law, specifically on future trends of higher education policies and procedures, Clery Act and Title IX issues. He and his wife, Leslie, have two children, David and Johanna.
"I am thrilled to begin my tenure at Thomas More College. This is a great institution, highly regarded for providing a values-based liberal arts education in the Catholic tradition. I look forward to sharing my experience, abilities and enthusiasm to continue the traditions that have made Thomas More such a special place."
David A. Armstrong, J.D.
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