Honors college residence hall receives new name: Second president of Wilkes University, Francis Michelini


Gabby Glinski

Dr. Francis Michelini stands infront of the newly renamed Michelini Hall after the dedication ceremony.

Meghan Burns, Staff Writer

In a ceremony on Nov. 10, current university president Patrick Leahy dedicated a building to Wilkes University’s second president, Francis J. Michelini.

The new Michelini Hall, formerly known as Barre Hall, is located at 80 W. River Street. It is home to the current Wilkes University Honors Program students.

Dr. Michelini, known to many as “Dr. Mike,” was the second president of Wilkes University. He joined the Wilkes community in 1955 as a full-time faculty member in the biology department. Just eight years later in 1963, he became dean of academic affairs.

In 1970, he became the university’s president.

Michelini is given recognition because two years after he became president, he was put in the difficult situation of dealing with the aftermath of the flood from Hurricane Agnes. He was the driving force behind what became known as “Operation Snapback.”

Opening the ceremony, President Leahy thanked Dr. Mike for his 20 years of dedication to Wilkes and its students.

“There is a special place in our Wilkes history for Francis Michelini,” Leahy said.

Michelini was emotional as he took to the podium to begin his speech. He reminds those in attendance that, “We should not judge people by their religion, or by their color or by their sex. We should judge people by what they can do with their minds, and that’s the whole premise of this institution.”

Wilkes University students will be reminded of the impact Francis J. Michelini has made on the university when they exit Michelini Hall and see his famous words, “We’re all in this boat together.”