Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D.

Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D.

Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D., is the eighth president of St. Joseph's University, New York. He began his tenure at the University in July 2017. During his time at St. Joseph's University, Dr. Boomgaarden has proven his steadfast leadership and commitment to moving the institution forward at a time of unprecedented challenge to the health and financial well-being of colleges and universities across the nation. Over the course of three years, he oversaw a successful reaccreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, launched a new strategic plan, grew the University’s endowment by nearly 50 percent and saw record high enrollments on all three campuses — Brooklyn, Long Island and Online.  

Dr. Boomgaarden’s commitment to the University’s mission is evident in the meaningful initiatives he continues to move forward. He hosts the series “Living our Mission” on Catholic Faith Network, where he interviews members of the St. Joseph's University community on a variety of topics, including mission, service, social responsibility and diversity and inclusion, to name a few recurring themes. Under his leadership, the University is currently working on adding new academic programs, making improvements to its physical campuses and planning to build a new multi-million dollar student center on its Patchogue campus. He also makes frequent media appearances as an industry leader in higher education.

Dr. Boomgaarden serves on the board of trustees for the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU); is Board Chair of the Association of Colleges of Sisters of St. Joseph (ACSSJ), a national organization of colleges and universities across the nation; a steering committee member of the Long Island Regional Advisory Council on Higher Education (LIRACHE), where he is also chair to the Superintendents and College President’s Partnership; and is chair of the Lower Hudson Valley Consortium of Catholic Colleges and Universities. He’s been named one of the most influential Brooklynites by “Brooklyn Power 100” for three consecutive years. 

Prior to coming to St. Joseph’s, Dr. Boomgaarden served as the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was the dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts and David P. Swanzy Distinguished Professor of Music at Loyola University New Orleans. 

Dr. Boomgaarden is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, and also studied at the University of Vienna, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He graduated from Harvard University’s Institute for Management and Leadership in Education, and has held teaching positions at the Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College Conservatory of Music, St. Mary’s College in Maryland, the Institut für Musikwissenschaft at the University of Salzburg, Loyola University Maryland and Loyola University New Orleans.

A concert pianist and country fiddler, Dr. Boomgaarden is also a noted historian of opera, music aesthetics and harmonic theory. He teaches classes in the areas of North American Roots music and on the history of opera, and his writings include his book on the interrelationships between philosophy and music, "Musical Thought in Eighteenth-Century Britain and Germany," and articles in "The New Grove Dictionary" and "The New Grove Dictionary of Opera," as well as the "British Dictionary of National Biography.”