To further support and enhance Goal 1 of the strategic plan, Building a Future Full of Hope 2025, Matthew Gerlach, Ph.D., has been appointed as vice president for character, virtue, and ethics and core associate professor of ethics and leadership as well as the director and endowed chair of the Hendrickson Institute. Dr. Gerlach will lead efforts to advance the university’s vision around character education and virtue formation with constant focus on our mission to awaken, nurture, and empower learners to ethical lives of service and leadership. Working with all areas of the university, Dr. Gerlach will pilot opportunities that transform teaching, learning, service, scholarship, and more through both in person and technology platforms that will further develop and highlight Saint Mary’s as a leader in ethics, character, and virtue education.
Dr. Gerlach will also advance the Hendrickson Institute as a resource for the university, greater community, current and emerging leaders, and as a forum to explore ethical principles, models, and issues. He currently serves as dean of the Institute for Lay Ministry at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He has extensive teaching experience in theology and has served in academic administrative positions at several universities as well. Dr. Gerlach will join Saint Mary’s on Aug. 1. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy, Religious Studies, from Marquette University and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of St. Thomas.
“Dr. Gerlach’s position is supported through an endowed chair, made possible by a recent gift from a generous benefactor,” said Father Burns. “This benefactor shared that this investment has been made to promote the focus on ethics that Saint Mary’s is known for but should be even better known for, and will be, as we join this approach to character education and virtue. It sets us apart as a leader in Lasallian Catholic higher education for the good of all.”