Laura Casamento became the ninth president and fourteenth chief executive officer of Utica College on August 1, 2016. She is the second president selected by the independent Board of Trustees, and the first woman to serve as president in the 70-year history of the College.
Laura earned an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
A first-generation college graduate, Laura is a passionate and learned supporter of college accessibility and affordability. As Executive Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer, she was a principal architect of Utica College’s tuition reset, which has garnered national attention from federal and state law and policy makers, media, and, most important, students and families.
Since arriving at UC in 2004, she has played a major role in increasing external funding to the institution, strengthening the institution’s financial position and thereby making it possible to improve the teaching and learning environment. She has overseen several major institutional initiatives including the Achieve: A New Dream, A New Era comprehensive campaign, which raised $34 million against a goal of $25 million.
Laura has more than twenty years of senior executive experience in the private sector and higher education. Prior to joining Utica College, she was president and chief operating officer of Herkimer County Trust, an independently owned, state chartered bank located in central New York. She served as president from April 1998 until December 2002, when the bank was sold to The Savings Bank of Utica (now part of M&T). The bank had assets of $350 million and 12 retail locations. She oversaw a 65 percent increase in net income during her tenure as president, resulting in the bank being sold at nearly 2.5 times book value.
Laura currently serves on the boards of directors for the Mohawk Valley Economic Development Growth Enterprises (EDGE), the Kelberman Center for Autism Services, Patriot Federal Bank, and the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. She has previously served on the boards of Excellus – Utica Region and the Women’s Fund, was a member of the Strategy Team for MV500, and was campaign chairperson for the United Way of the Greater Utica Area.
Laura is married to Philip Casamento, and together they have five children and four grandchildren.