Office of the President

Villa Maria’s fourth president, Matthew Giordano, Ph.D., is leading the way with purpose, precision, and passion.

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Dr. Matthew Giordano, Villa Maria’s Fourth President

Under Dr. Giordano’s leadership, Villa Maria College has cemented its position as the premier student-centered College in Western New York.

An innovative and proven leader, Dr. Giordano has helped Villa Maria College fulfill its mission of serving students in the Western New York community and beyond. Dr. Giordano’s forward-thinking initiatives have positioned Villa Maria College for long term growth and success. With students at the heart of everything he does, he has helped the College start new academic programs designed to help the community, has eliminated barriers to access through the free books and supplies program, and formed the DEI Committee.

Under Dr. Giordano, college leadership created a strategic plan which will guide the College and its growth through 2024. He has introduced new models of governance at Villa, nurturing a collegial atmosphere among the faculty and employees. Giordano has also successfully expanded the College’s reach by engaging with several community leaders and elected officials in an effort to develop strategic partnerships and support for the institution.

Educational Background

Dr. Giordano has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Philosophy from Binghamton University and both a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in American literature from the Ohio State University. He completed the Executive Leadership Academy of the Council of Independent Colleges and the Felician Leadership Institute in 2018.

Strategic Planning

Our vision is to be the premier student-centered college in Western New York, characterized by an unyielding commitment to serving the needs of individual learners, with:

  • Cutting edge pedagogy guiding and empowering students through individual pathways to academic success;
  • Compassionate and caring faculty members who nurture emerging talent;
  • Robust student life experiences fusing academics and student life into a vibrant whole;
  • Opportunities for the personal development of life skills that help students realize their full potential as human beings;
  • Prudent fiscal management and stewardship in support of a Felician Franciscan environment and student-centered atmosphere.

Recognizing that students are entering college with varying levels of preparation and academic, professional, and social experiences, Villa’s visionary plan builds on and introduces initiatives that meet students at their skill level, providing them with the support and tools to succeed while they are enrolled, and the skills needed after graduation.

Organized around four pillars of success–Felician Franciscan identity, academic excellence, student focus, and stewardship–the plan touches on nearly every aspect of the college in support of serving individual student needs. Villa will foster academic programs that, along with faculty members who can nurture emerging talent, guide and empower students individually to success. The college will also deliver new student life experiences, including opportunities that build life skills to help students realize their full potential. All of these pieces will be afforded through methodical fiscal stewardship in support of a Felician Franciscan and student-centered environment.

Read the full press release
Visionary Plan: 2014-2024
Strategic Plan: 2021-2024
Buffalo Business First
Read coverage of our announcement in Buffalo Business First

Personal Life

Originally from Rochester, Dr. Giordano is married to Jennifer Desiderio, a professor of English at Canisius College and has three daughters: Sophia, Alice, and Lucy. The Giordano family resides in Snyder, NY.

Service to the Community

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education Peer Reviewer, 2021—present
  • Say Yes to Education, Buffalo Operating Committee Member, 2018—present
  • Most Valuable Parents, Board of Directors, 2022—present
  • Council of Independent Colleges and Universities, Transfer Pathways Grant Steering Committee, 2021—present
  • Town of Cheektowaga, New York, Comprehensive Planning Committee, 2020—2021
  • Town of Cheektowaga, New York, Cheektowaga Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Task Force, 2020—2021
  • Western New York Digital Equity Coalition Committee Member, 2020—present

Contact the Office of the President

Michaelene Karpinski
Administrative Assistant
[email protected]
716.961.1869

Brian Emerson
Media Contact, Vice President of Enrollment
[email protected]
Office: 716.961.1838
Cell: 716.472.7817

DEI Committee

At Villa Maria College, we value diversity and respect for human dignity as foundations for our collective growth. We develop effective reciprocal relationships based on compassion, trust, and authenticity. To fulfill this purpose, we welcome all students and employees who contribute to the richness of our diversity. We work every day to ensure that all who join our inclusive community have what they need to realize their full potential.

Villa Maria College is the most diverse and welcoming higher education institution in WNY:

Learn more about Villa Maria College’s DEI initiatives here.

About Our President

“It is an extraordinary privilege to be named the fourth president of Villa Maria College, an institution that has served our community with distinction for almost 60 years. Villa’s Catholic, Felician mission, as well as its values of transformation and respect, completely align with my own beliefs and with my convictions about higher education.  I have witnessed Villa’s transformative power on a daily basis, seeing firsthand how it changes and improves the lives of the students and families it touches through its exceptional academic programs and community outreach. I am thrilled to lead the College as it builds off of this enduring legacy to create an even brighter future and as it plays a critical role in the continued resurgence of Western New York.”

– President Matthew Giordano, Ph.D.