Florida Institute of Technology President & CEO Anthony Catanese Will Retire Next Year

By  //  June 17, 2015

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Dwayne McCay will succeed Catanese

Florida Institute of Technology President and CEO Anthony J. Catanese publicly announced today that he will retire from the university’s top leadership post next year, after 14 years of service. (Florida Tech image)

Florida Institute of Technology President and CEO Anthony J. Catanese publicly announced Wednesday that he will retire from the university’s top leadership post next year, after 14 years of service. (Florida Tech image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA — Florida Institute of Technology President and CEO Anthony J. Catanese publicly announced Wednesday that he will retire from the university’s top leadership post next year, after 14 years of service.

Catanese will officially conclude his tenure as presidentJune 30, 2016.

“Serving as the president of this wonderful university has been one of the proudest accomplishments of my career,” Catanese said. “Florida Tech’s rise to prominence is truly exciting, and certainly ongoing. This is a very special place, made so by the people—the faculty, staff, students and alumni—who care deeply about the university and its mission.”

Florida Tech Board of Trustees Chairman Phillip W. Farmer announced that Executive Vice President and COO T. Dwayne McCay has been appointed to succeed Catanese as president and CEO.

Dwayne McCay

Dwayne McCay

“Dr. Catanese has been the right leader at the right time in the evolution of Florida Tech,” Farmer said. “His legacy will be one of unparalleled growth and success. We have every expectation that Dr. McCay will extend that success, providing important continuity while exploring new areas of achievement.”

Over the next year, Catanese and McCay will work closely with the Board of Trustees to coordinate a transition process. Catanese plans to continue as a member of the Florida Tech faculty following his retirement, serving as a university research professor.

“Dr. Catanese makes no small plans,” McCay said. “His vision has helped us to achieve international recognition, and to achieve it relatively quickly. I look forward to continuing the important work that he started.”

GOAL: ACHIEVE INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM

When Catanese arrived at Florida Tech in July 2002, the campus was poised for growth. And, fresh from a dozen years as president of Florida Atlantic University, Catanese was ready for new challenges.

Anthony-Catanese-471-1

When Dr. Anthony Catanese, above, arrived at Florida Tech in July 2002, the campus was poised for growth. And, fresh from a dozen years as president of Florida Atlantic University, Catanese was ready for new challenges. (Florida Tech image)

By the end of 2003, Catanese had assembled an administrative team including McCay as provost and chief academic officer. The goal was clear—elevate the high-quality institution from one of regional respect to one of international acclaim.

Florida Tech earns numerous educational accolades annually, and is currently recognized as a Tier 1 Best National University by U.S. News and World Report. It is also honored as one of the top 200 universities in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The university has expanded in key areas under Catanese’s leadership, increasing the number of students served from approximately 3,600 in 2002 to more than 16,000 today.

U.S. News Ranks Florida Tech Top Tier UniversityRelated Story:
U.S. News Ranks Florida Tech Top Tier University

Revenues have risen from $73 million to $233 million. Athletics has grown to 22 varsity teams, including football and lacrosse. The endowment has more than doubled, to $66 million. A music program was added.

The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts— the only textiles center of its kind in the state—was created. The former Brevard Art Museum merged with the university, giving the longtime community resource a fresh mission as the Foosaner Art Museum.

Foosaner-Art-Museum-580-1

The former Brevard Art Museum merged with the university, giving the longtime community resource a fresh mission as the Foosaner Art Museum. (Florida Tech image)

Funding the future of the only independent, technological institute in the Southeast has been integral to Catanese’s vision. Florida Tech’s Golden Anniversary in 2008 provided the perfect platform to launch a $50 million capital campaign that ultimately raised $60 million.

New scholarships were added, and facilities like the Harris Center for Science and Engineering, the Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Panther Aquatic Center and Panther Dining Hall were built.

The university’s $100 million Create the Future capital campaign will conclude next year. Key gifts have included additional monies to support the university endowment as well as a $1 million gift to build the Harris Student Design Center.

Catanese has been a community leader as well. He is a past chairman of the board of the United Way of Brevard, as well as the 2006 campaign chair, and has served on several local boards including the Maxwell C. King Center, Henegar Center, Leadership Brevard, and Central Florida Partnership.

RECIPIENT OF NUMEROUS AWARDS

During his career, Catanese is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Trailblazer Award from Rotary International, Diversity Champion Award from the Urban League, Outstanding College President’s Award from the All-American Football Foundation, Golden Eagle Award from the Boy Scouts of America, Junior Achievement Hall of Fame, Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame and Space Coast Business Leader.

Catanese Transformed Landscape of AthleticsRelated Story:
Catanese Transformed Landscape of Athletics

He is a member of the Florida Institute of Technology Sports Hall of Fame and the Eckerd Brevard Walk of Fame.

ABOVE VIDEO: In all of the years that Dr. Anthony Catanese has served as a college administrator his support for athletics has never wavered.

Catanese is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP) and holds a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, a master’s degree from New York University and a doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

He and his wife, Sara, plan to continue residing in South Brevard, staying involved in community affairs and helping raise their three grandsons.

McCAY SET TO LEAD FLORIDA TECH

In his current leadership role, McCay is responsible for all academic, research and student matters, including athletics.

lorida Tech Board of Trustees Chairman Phillip W. Farmer announced that Executive Vice President and COO T. Dwayne McCay has been appointed to succeed Catanese as president and CEO. (Florida Tech image)

Florida Tech Board of Trustees Chairman Phillip W. Farmer announced that Executive Vice President and COO T. Dwayne McCay, above, has been appointed to succeed Catanese as president and CEO. (Florida Tech image)

He came to Florida Tech July 1, 2003 from the University of Tennessee, where he was the vice president for research and information technology and served as the Chief Research Officer and Chief Information Officer for all units of the university.

Earlier, as a vice president at the University of Tennessee, he served as CEO of the Space Institute; professor, Engineering Science and Mechanics; adjunct professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; program chairman, Engineering Science and Mechanics; chairman of the Center for Laser Applications; and principal investigator, NASA Spacelab Experiment and several projects on laser processing of materials.

Previously, McCay was at NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.

There in the Structures and Propulsion Laboratory, he was chief of the Propulsion Division; branch chief of Turbomachinery and Combustions Devices Branch and of the Propulsion Analysis Branch; and senior aerospace engineer of the Auxiliary Propulsion Branch.

He and his wife, Mary Helen McCay, who holds a Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering and was a decorated NASA engineer early in her career, reside in Melbourne. Together, they hold 18 patents based on their materials processing research.

Dr. Anthony J. Catanese Timeline of  Florida Tech Service & Accomplishments

  • 2002
    Dr. Anthony James Catanese becomes the fourth president of the university. Dr. Catanese joins Florida Tech after a dozen successful years as the president of Florida Atlantic University.
  • 2003
    Construction is completed on seven new residence halls, which are named for each of the seven fallen astronauts of the Shuttle Columbia and dedicated to their memory.
  • 2004
    University launches Panther Pride Florida Tech license plate.
  • 2004
    Online master’s degree in information technology launches through Bisk Education.
  • 2005
    F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center opens.
  • 2006
    Buehler Trust donates $1.5 million to fund a training and research center at Melbourne International Airport.
  • 2006
    Ruth Funk donates $1.25 million to create a textiles museum.
  • 2007
    Kicked off $50 million Golden Anniversary capital campaign, to coincide with the university’s upcoming 50th anniversary.
  • 2007
    Online Undergraduate and MBA degree programs launch through Bisk Education.
  • 2008
    Groundbreaking for Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts and Harris Center for Science and Engineering.
  • 2008
    Construction begins on the Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research at Melbourne International Airport.
  • 2008
    The Ortega reflecting telescope, the largest research telescope in Florida, is installed.
  • 2009
    College of Business becomes Nathan M. Bisk College of Business.
  • 2009
    Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts opens.
  • 2009
    Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research established at Melbourne International Airport.
  • 2009
    Golden Anniversary Campaign concludes, surpassing goal with nearly $60 million raised.
  • 2009
    Scott Center for Autism Treatment opens.
  • 2009
    Harris Center for Science and Engineering and, within it, Harris Institute for Information Assurance, opens.
  • 2009
    Florida Tech Research Park established at Melbourne International Airport.
  • 2010
    Football Program initiated.
  • 2010
    University named FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation.
  • 2011
    Panther Dining Hall opens.
  • 2011
    Brevard Art Museum merges with university; $1 million gift establishes it as Foosaner Art Museum.
  • 2011
    Panther Aquatic Center completed.
  • 2012
    Florida Tech and NASA host International Space University Space Studies Program, first hosted 25 years ago at MIT.
  • 2012
    Catanese marks 10 years as president.
  • 2013
    Indian River Lagoon Research Institute (IRLRI) established to find solutions for the lagoon’s growing problems.
  • 2013
    Panthers win their inaugural football game, a 20-13 victory over Stetson University.
  • 2013
    Florida Tech celebrates 55th anniversary.
  • 2014
    University announces record-setting $100 million Create the Future capital campaign.
  • 2014
    Nathan Bisk College of Business moves to a new home, the 22,000 square-foot Babcock Oaks office building on South Babcock Street.
  • 2014
    Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program launched at Huntsville, Ala. site.
  • 2015
    A $1 million gift from Harris Corporation creates a new Student Design Center at the university, an 11,500-square-foot, single story structure.
  • 2015
    Dr. Catanese announces retirement, to become effective June 30, 2016.
  • 2016
    Florida Tech will bring the $100 million Create the Future campaign to a close.
  • 2016
    Dr. Catanese concludes 14 years as President on June 30.

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