Kenneth D. Daly Takes Office as St. Thomas Aquinas College’s Ninth President

Commits to helping students navigate current societal challenges by providing access to affordable education to prepare them for college, community service, and career success.

On Wednesday, July 1, Kenneth D. Daly, a mission-based educator and clean energy business leader, assumed his position as the ninth president at St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) after a successful 30-year career of serving local New York communities, supporting students, and leading emergency response plans.

STAC Chairman Peter Skae said, “We are very excited to have Ken Daly as the new leader of St. Thomas Aquinas College. Ken has extensive experience in the business world and has been a trustee and faculty member at a similar liberal arts and science college. He is assuming his presidency during a very difficult time of uncertainty and I am confident that he will bring his significant experience to navigate these challenges responsibly while engaging the college community and advancing the mission of STAC. The STAC community is so fortunate that Ken Daly will bring his vision and drive to expand the work and reach of the college.”

President Daly has been transitioning into the role over the past 6 months, while completing an industry leadership program for new college presidents, and working closely to support the college’s COVID-19 response plans. He has been actively developing funding programs to ensure educational access and affordability for all students and has been carefully preparing for the college’s Fall re-opening for students on September 8. Provisions are underway to safeguard the health and safety of students and employees while providing students with meaningful on-campus education and experiences, augmented by flexible online offerings.

As the new president of St. Thomas Aquinas College, Ken Daly said, “I am committed to providing students with a very supportive and caring environment – where inclusion, equity, and diversity are enhanced as part of our values—to help them navigate these challenging times. We have a dedicated team of faculty and administrators who will mentor the students every step of the way. We have a proud history of caring for our students and an exciting future whereby, together, we will overcome the societal challenges we currently face and develop each unique individual into our leaders of tomorrow – leaders who have a true sense of purpose.”

About his predecessor, Mr. Daly shared the following sentiment, “After 25 years of transformational leadership, Dr. Fitzpatrick saved her most important work for this past semester when she led the college through the COVID-19 crisis with care for our students and employees. At the same time, she supported me in preparing for my onboarding and has provided invaluable guidance and direction to ensure a seamless July 1 Presidential transition for which I will be forever grateful.”

Dr. Fitzpatrick shared some parting words, “It has been my privilege to serve at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Thank you to each employee, trustee, and friend who lives its mission. Our joy comes from the students who maximize their potential and make us proud. Welcome, President Daly, you will be great!”

Please join us in wishing Dr. Fitzpatrick well in her new role as President Emerita and professor and welcoming Kenneth Daly as ninth president of St. Thomas Aquinas College. Ken, his wife Laurie, who will be volunteering at the college, and their four children are delighted to be a part of the STAC community and to give back to our students during this critical time.

Daly was selected for his mission-focused leadership over a 30-year career in clean energy with National Grid and its predecessor companies, KeySpan and Brooklyn Union. Ken completed the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at Harvard, earned an MS in Human Resource Management from New York University, an MBA in Finance from St. John’s University, and a BA in English from St. Francis College, and earned the distinguished Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

He is a passionate educator and has chaired and served on the boards of several colleges while teaching in the classroom as an adjunct professor at St. Francis College since 1992. Across his career, Ken has fostered strategic relationships with academia, supporting research and workforce development programs at colleges and STEM education programs in New York schools, which have resulted in innovative new programs, educational resources for under-served communities, and hundreds of jobs for the students.

He has been honored by several colleges and high schools for his contributions to education and scholarship funding for students. He recently announced new 4-year $50,000 scholarships and personally launched the Kenneth D. Daly Scholarship to support students and their families who have been impacted by the recent COVID-19 and Social Justice crises in our local communities and will match contributions to provide support to students when they need it most.

Find out how you can contribute to the Kenneth D. Daly Scholarship Fund.

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