In 2011 Antoine M. Garibaldi was named University of Detroit Mercy’s 25th president. He was also the first lay president and first African American at this 1877 Jesuit-founded institution that consolidated with Mercy College of Detroit in 1990. Prior to Detroit Mercy, Garibaldi was the sixth and first African American president of Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania for nine and a half years from 2001 to 2010.
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 26, 1950, Garibaldi is the sixth of nine children of a longshoreman and Pullman Porter, Augustin Garibaldi, Sr., and a civic and Catholic organizations volunteer, Marie Brulé Garibaldi. After eighth grade at St. Augustine High School, Garibaldi was a Catholic seminarian with The Josephites for eight and a half years in Newburgh, New York, and Washington, DC, while also attending Howard University. Garibaldi received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology magna cum laude from Howard University in 1973 and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1976.
Early in his career, Dr. Garibaldi was a fifth and sixth grade teacher in Washington, DC, and was Principal of the St. Paul (MN) Urban League Street Academy. From 1977 to 1982, Garibaldi was an Educational Policy Fellow and federal government administrator and researcher at the U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute of Education; and from 1982 to 1996, he served consecutively as a tenured Professor and Chair of the Education Department, Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Xavier University of Louisiana. From 1996 to 2000, Garibaldi served his alma mater, Howard University, as the first Provost and Chief Academic Officer. He also was a Senior Fellow in the Office of the Vice President for Collaborations and Corporate Secretary at the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
Garibaldi has authored eleven books and more than ninety scholarly research articles. He is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and the American Psychological Association. In 2015, he was selected as one of Crain’s Detroit Business “100 Most Connected People in Detroit.” Garibaldi was also named one of metro Detroit’s and Michigan’s most powerful business leaders in Dbusiness magazine’s The Detroit 500 in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Garibaldi currently serves on several boards including the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), Conference for Mercy Higher Education (CMHE), Georgetown University, Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities (MICU) Executive Committee, and many local civic community boards. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.
The recipient of numerous honors, including four honorary doctorates from Our Lady of Holy Cross College (LA), Seton Hall University (NJ), Gannon University (PA), and University of Saint Thomas (MN), Dr. Garibaldi also received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota, the Howard University Alumni Award for Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement in the field of education, the Papal honor of Knight of St. Gregory the Great, the National Service Award from the International Salute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Person of the Year Award from the University of Notre Dame Club of Erie and the Michigan Chronicle’s 2013 Men of Excellence Award.
Dr. Garibaldi continues to accomplish numerous strategic initiatives at University of Detroit Mercy. He currently lives in Detroit, Michigan with his wife Carol Jupiter Garibaldi.