As of March 18, Joe NeCastro ’78 has been approved by the Mercyhurst Board of Trustees as the interim president of the institution. The Merciad sat down with NeCastro to get to know the man who will be the face of Mercyhurst during the search for our next president.
NeCastro is an alumnus of Mercyhurst who got his undergraduate degree in accounting. A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, he now lives in Cleveland with his wife Barbara and splits his time between Mercyhurst and his family home. NeCastro also has three adult children and a dog.
NeCastro spent most of his life after college developing his career, but again became involved with the Hurst about 15 years ago when he joined the university’s Business Advisory Board. In 2011, NeCastro joined the Board of Trustees.
“At our recent quarterly Trustees’ meeting, a vote was approved to name me interim president of the university until the presidential search is completed and we welcome a new president,” NeCastro said.
Current board vice-chairs, Sister JoAnne Courneen ’64 RSM and Yvonne Maher ’93, will serve as co-chairs of the board for the duration of NeCastro’s tenure.
NeCastro told the Merciad that he was most happy to be back on campus because of the place Mercyhurst holds in his heart.
“Mercyhurst was a very important time in my life. Mercyhurst makes a difference in people’s lives and I am no exception. I am here because I think Mercyhurst can make a difference to others.”
Like many alumni, NeCastro’s favorite memory of the Hurst is the friendship and community he found here.
“I made two lifelong friends at the Hurst – my best friend George and fellow board member Patrick Weschler,” NeCastro said.
NeCastro also fondly remembers getting involved with Student Government in his junior and senior years, which he said drew him “out of his comfort zone and accounting major stereotypes” to open his eyes to leadership opportunities and the difference a good leader can make.
When asked what he hopes to achieve during his time as interim president, NeCastro humbly replied that his main goal is “not to screw anything up.” But, alongside this goal, he hopes to simply ensure a smooth transition from the retirement of President Victor to our next president.
“I want to maintain a sense of calm and ease. I am also focused on keeping the momentum of Mercyhurst going so that we do not lose any of the progress made under President Victor,” NeCastro said.
Finally, NeCastro spoke about what he is looking for in our next president.
“I am looking for somebody who reflects the mission of the school and the Sisters. Mercyhurst is a very special place that can’t just be entrusted to anyone,” said NeCastro. “Because I am such a big fan of Mercyhurst I am committed to finding someone who will create the best experience for our students.” Welcome back, Joe NeCastro!