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Spring Hill College to celebrate the inauguration of Dr. Christopher P. Puto as 37th president

President Puto inauguration
President Puto inauguration

Spring Hill College will install Dr. Christopher P. Puto as its 37th president at an inauguration ceremony at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, in the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center.  The Spring Hill College community will celebrate the Inaugural Mass of the Holy Spirit at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, in St. Joseph Chapel.

The Board of Trustees elected Puto at the February board meeting, and he officially began his term as president on June 1.

Puto graduated from Spring Hill College in 1964 with a degree in economics. He earned an MBA in marketing from the University of Miami and a Ph.D. in business administration with a concentration in marketing from Duke University. He served Spring Hill College as a member of the Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2012.­

"To be back at Spring Hill and back in Mobile at a time when the College and the city are experiencing strong rebounds from the economic stresses of the past five years presents a wonderful opportunity,” Puto said. “Our futures are bright, and I am excited to be able to give back to the school that has given me so much."

From 2002 to 2014 Puto served as the dean and the Opus Distinguished Chair in the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, a Catholic, liberal arts college in St. Paul, Minn. Among his accomplishments at St. Thomas, Puto designed and introduced the university’s first full-time MBA program and first full-time M.S. in Accountancy program, as well as redesigned the flagship evening MBA program.

Prior to his tenure at St. Thomas, Puto served as professor of marketing and dean of The McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, the country’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university, located in Washington, D.C. In 1998 he introduced a new MBA program curriculum and initiated a curriculum redesign for the undergraduate business program. In addition, he created a comprehensive strategic planning process for the school and raised $80 million in the first three years of a $150 million capital campaign.

Puto has also served as associate dean and director of the MBA program, director of doctoral studies in marketing, and professor of marketing and psychology at the University of Arizona, a public research university in Tucson. His teaching experience includes serving on the faculty at the University of Michigan and Appalachian State University.

In addition to his accomplishments in academia, Puto has a wide range of industry and consulting experience. Clients have included Bank of America, Eastman Kodak Company, and General Electric Company. Puto started his career as allied sales manager at Burger King Corporation, where he contributed to developing the strategic foundations for the “Have It Your Way” advertising campaign.

He has also written numerous academic journal articles and book chapters and presented at peer-reviewed professional conferences. He received the 2002 Sheth Foundation Award for co-authoring the Journal of Consumer Research article having the most long-term impact on the discipline. This inaugural award covered the first 29 years of the Journal’shistory.

About Spring Hill College

Founded in 1830, Spring Hill College is the oldest Catholic college in the Southeast and the third-oldest Jesuit college in the United States, behind Georgetown University and Saint Louis University. Throughout the world, the Jesuits are synonymous with excellence in education and a commitment to caring for the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Located in Mobile, Ala., Spring Hill College is consistently ranked among the top 20 Southern colleges and universities in U.S. News & World Report's “America's Best Colleges” Spring Hill's mission is to form leaders engaged in learning, faith, justice and service for life.

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