Past Presidents

Anthony J. Catanese

President from 2002 to 2016

Anthony J. Catanese

Dr. Anthony J. Catanese served as fourth president of Florida Institute of Technology. During Dr. Catanese's fourteen year term, the university expanded in key areas, increasing the number of students served from approximately 3,600 in 2002 to more than 16,000 in 2016. Revenues rose from $73 million to $233 million. Athletics grew to 22 varsity teams, including football and lacrosse. The endowment 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.

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.

Funding the future of the only independent, technological institute in the Southeast was 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 concluded in 2016; it raised $123.3 million. Key gifts included monies to support the university endowment as well as a $1 million gift to build the Harris Student Design Center.

Before coming to Florida Tech, Dr. Catanese was president of Florida Atlantic University, which grew to 25,000 students on seven campuses during his leadership tenure. He was the provost of Pratt Institute in New York City, dean of the College of Architecture at the University of Florida, dean of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, associate dean of the School of Engineering and Environmental Design and James A. Ryder Professor at the University of Miami, and professor and director of the Center for Planning and Development at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Catanese also was a Senior Fulbright Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia.

He 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. A prolific writer, he has published 13 books, 18 chapters in books and more than 100 articles and monographs. He is the recipient of numerous awards, the most recent of which include 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.  He recently was inducted into the Florida Institute of Technology Sports Hall of Fame and the Eckerd Brevard Walk of Fame.