Damian Fernandez will assume leadership of St. Petersburg’s Eckerd College in July 2020.
ST. PETERSBURG — Damian Fernandez has been named president of Eckerd College and will take office on July 1, 2020.
According to a press release, the board of trustees of the St. Petersburg-based liberal arts institution voted unanimously in favor of the appointment. Fernandez, 62, will be Eckerd College’s fifth president. He succeeds Donald Eastman III, who announced his retirement in February.
“Dr. Fernandez has an accomplished history of higher education leadership characterized by academic collaboration, student-centered initiatives, financial acumen and servant leadership,” board chairman John Finneran states in the release. “Dr. Fernandez’s career reflects genuine interest in values-based education and innovative high-impact learning within the context of a liberal arts and sciences educational experience.
Fernandez, a Cuban immigrant who grew up in Puerto Rico, boasts more 30 years of higher education experience in the classroom and administration, the release states. He previously served as chancellor of The Pennsylvania State University — Abington College.
Fernandez earned a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Miami and a master of arts degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida.