WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Wilkes University introduced its next president to students and staff on Thursday morning.
Greg Cant, Ph.D., and his family will soon be making Wilkes University their home. Cant is a native of Australia and brings 30 years of experience in education to Wilkes.
Students hope his diverse background will contribute to growth and success at the university.
Cant tells Newswatch 16 he's thrilled to join the Colonel family.
"It's amazing," Cant said. "When first heard, literally, I am not sure that my feet have touched the ground for a week. So, the opportunity to be the president of such an institution is really a lifetime dream."
Cant is a native of Australia and comes to Wilkes after serving as the dean of the business school at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He and his family will live on campus.
"Now, I should tell you that I've had to decide, is it 'Wilkes bear, Wilkes berry?' Obviously, there's so many different ways to do this. I nearly put a survey out to make sure I don't offend people, but as a family, we decided on 'Wilkes berry,' is that alright?" he said to cheers.
Jokes aside, Cant says he will work hard to help Wilkes University overcome challenges like declining enrollment rates that are affecting universities all over the country.
"Often, it's about how you position what you have. If you prepare people for meaningful impact on their journey, then people are going to choose Wilkes as their institution of choice," added Cant.
Two students were on the presidential search committee, and they say the future of the students is what they had in mind while selecting a new president.
"I really thought I need to find a candidate who going to be a representative for the student body, who is going to share that same passion for their education and success," Caroline Rickard said.
Rickard says Cant's diverse background and cultural experiences are something that stood out to her.
"It's going to really benefit Wilkes University because it does bring change and brings new ways to learn, and that should be an exciting time that should be celebrated."
The previous president, Patrick Leahy, served for seven years and is now the president of Monmouth University in New Jersey.
Cant will take over in June.