SLU inaugurates first Lay President Friday

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- It will be a historic day for Saint Louis University on Friday as the university`s first ever Lay President will be inaugurated.

The inauguration of Fred Pestello, Ph.D., will take place at the Chaifetz Arena. The procession is set to begin at 9:00a.m., with the formal program beginning at 9:30a.m.

Thousands are expected to be in attendance.

Dr. Pestello is SLU's 33rd president in the school`s nearly 200 year history. He made history after becoming the first Lay President at the Jesuit University.

Dr. Pestello began working for Saint Louis University on July 1st. He succeeds the school’s former administrator William R. Kauffman, J.D.

Kauffman became SLU’s Interim President in September 2013, after Father Lawrence Biondi retired. Father Biondi was SLU’s President for 26 years but left under a cloud of controversy.

Dr. Pestello is expected to make his first major address as SLU’s president at the ceremony.

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson is slated to close the ceremony with a benediction.

Before he began his career at SLU, Dr. Pestello served for six years as the first Lay President of Le Moyne College, a Jesuit Liberal Arts institution in Syracuse, New York.