One of Country’s Most Unique Colleges Chooses New President


St. John’s College is pleased to announce the selection of Mark Roosevelt as president-elect of its Santa Fe campus. Mr. Roosevelt will begin his presidency in early 2016. Current president, Michael P. Peters, will step down later this year after a ten-year career at St. John’s  College.

“Our selection of Mark Roosevelt to lead St. John’s, Santa Fe reflects the overwhelming support he has received from our faculty, staff, and Board,” says Perry Learner, Chair of the St. John’s Board of Visitors and Governors. “Mr. Roosevelt’s proven commitment to excellence will further strengthen St. John’s unique place in American higher education. We welcome him to our campus and  community.”

Mr. Roosevelt brings a wealth of experience to St. John’s College. Since January of 2011, he has served as president of Antioch College, leading the recreation of one of America’s most respected and innovative liberal arts colleges. He has raised over $80 million to bring this vision to life and renovate a long-neglected physical plant now on track to be among one of the greenest colleges in the  country.

From 2005 through 2010, Mr. Roosevelt served as Superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS). There he pursued an aggressive improvement agenda called “Excellence for All”. Under his leadership, PPS met federal achievement standards (AYP) for the first time, won a highly competitive $40 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to maximize teacher effectiveness, opened several innovative new schools, adopted a more rigorous curriculum, and inaugurated a nationally recognized program to recruit, train and support school principals as instructional  leaders.

In 2007, Mr. Roosevelt founded The Pittsburgh Promise, a remarkable initiative that has raised over $185 million to guarantee as much as $10,000 per year in college scholarship dollars to PPS graduates who meet certain academic standards. Over 5,000 students have attended college as Promise  Scholars.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Roosevelt, as a member of the Massachusetts State Legislature, chaired the Education Committee and co-authored the Commonwealth’s groundbreaking multi-billion dollar 1993 Education Reform Act. The Act provides the equitable resources and accountability measures necessary for school improvement and is credited with making Massachusetts the national leader in almost all categories of educational achievement and equity. He was also the lead sponsor of the 1989 Massachusetts law guaranteeing basic civil rights to gay men and lesbians, only the second such law in the  country.

In 1994, Mr. Roosevelt was the Democratic nominee for governor of Massachusetts. He holds undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University and has taught graduate level courses on the intersection of American history and public policy at Brandeis University and the Heinz Graduate School of Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon  University.

“I feel privileged to be invited to join the St John’s Santa Fe community as their president. I deeply respect the traditions and program of this remarkable institution and know, as the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and Board of Governors do, that St John’s holds an important place in American higher education. Our job now is to bring that remarkable, transformative education to a new generation of students,” says Mr.  Roosevelt.

For more information or interview requests, please contact Lisa Neal at 505-984-6120 or  lneal(@)


ABOUT ST. JOHN’S COLLEGE: St. John’s College is a private liberal arts college with campuses in Annapolis, MD and Santa Fe, NM. At St. John’s, students engage directly with the original sources of the ideas that have shaped our world. The collaborative study of seminal works of literature, philosophy, politics, mathematics, science, and music distinguishes the liberal arts at St. John’s. Small classes foster thoughtful and spirited discussions that enable students to wrestle with complex problems and to develop penetrating insights. Students learn to reason carefully, think boldly, and lead perceptively, as they cultivate the excellence of intellect and imagination for which St. John’s graduates are known. In 2014-2015, the college celebrates the founding of the Santa Fe campus. To learn more about St. John’s and the 50th anniversary celebration of the Santa Fe campus, please visit

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