St. Davids, PA, February 6, 2018: Board of Trustees Chairman, Steve Clemens ’91, of Eastern University announces that President Dr. Robert G. Duffett has resigned from his position effective February 28, 2018 in order to pursue another goal of significant importance to him both personally and professionally. Dr. Duffett has indicated he remains devoted to the University and its mission and will assist the incoming president in a successful transition.
In delivering his resignation Dr. Duffett expressed his gratitude to the Board of Trustees and the University for the opportunity to contribute to the Eastern community. Dr. Duffett joined Eastern University in July 2013. He led the completion of the University’s current multi-year strategic plan, developed a Campus Master Plan, oversaw a reorganization and reprioritization of the University and oversaw the relocation of the Palmer Theological Seminary to the St. Davids campus.
Dr. Duffett came to Eastern from Dakota Wesleyan University, where he served as president for 13 years. He established the George McGovern Library, Museum and Center for Leadership and Public Service at the university.
Board Chairman, Steven Clemens ’91, said of the change in Eastern leadership, “While the board is grateful to Bob for his years of service and wishes him well in his new endeavor, we are excited to work with Ron as Eastern enters this exciting new phase.”
Since 1992, President-Elect Dr. Ronald A. Matthews has been Professor of Music and Director of Music Programs at Eastern University. He is the Executive Director of the Fine and Performing Arts Division and the Chair of the Music Department.
Having received a Philadelphia Board of Education music scholarship, he did his undergraduate work in Church Music and Organ at Westminster Choir College where he graduated Magna cum laude and received both the Senior Class Conducting Award and the Christian Leadership Award. Dr. Matthews received the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Temple University. At the age of 23, Dr. Matthews was invited to join the faculty of Nyack College in Nyack, NY as the Director of Choral Activities. In 1981, Dr. Matthews received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Combs College of Music in Composition with an emphasis in Orchestral Conducting.
Dr. Matthews has served as the Pastor of Worship Arts at Church of the Saviour in Wayne, PA, since 2005. In addition to his university and church posts, for 12 years Dr. Matthews served as the Conductor and Music Director of the Jubilate Deo Chorale and Orchestra of New Jersey, which is a 100 voice auditioned chorale and a 65 piece professional orchestra, with whom he has conducted and performed in France, Italy, and the Vatican, performing sacred and classical choral and orchestral music.
From 1982-1992, Dr. Matthews was the Chair of the Department of Music at what is now Cairn University.
Dr. Matthews is married to Pamela and they enjoy travel and tennis. They have two sons, David and Andrew.