William J. Behre, Ph.D.
Dr. Behre is the chief academic officer for Georgian Court University where he brings nearly 25 years of experience as a public school educator, university researcher, professor, faculty leader, and higher education administrator to the role.
Dr. Behre, who earned a Ph.D. in Education with a focus on special education policy from the University of Michigan, has an M.S. in Education from Hunter College and an A.B. in Economics from Vassar College. He worked briefly with a New York public relations firm before committing more than two decades of his career to using higher education as a platform for improving the lives of others, including special needs students.
Most recently, he was on the leadership team at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). In recent years, he served as vice provost, interim vice provost, and as assistant vice president for grants, enterprise initiatives, and summer and off-campus programs. Dr. Behre, a former dean of TCNJ’s School of Education, is experienced in other critical areas of higher education, including sponsored research, fund-raising and development, and student and faculty recruitment.
He became provost at GCU in February 2014, and he is responsible for partnering closely with deans, department chairs, and members of the President’s Cabinet. As provost, he is also charged with academic program development and review, research and sponsored projects, and faculty development. He aims to strengthen Georgian Court’s academic enterprise; to recruit and retain faculty; and to improve student life, student retention, and completion.
Brian D. Agnew, Ph.D.
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Dr. Agnew leads the fund-raising operations for the university. He joined Georgian Court University in August 2016 with a proven record of philanthropic growth and fund-raising expertise.
In his role as vice president for institutional advancement, Dr. Agnew provides leadership, direction, and supervision of fund-raising programs for the university, including our capital campaign, major gifts, alumni relations, annual giving, planned giving, as well as corporate and foundation relations.
He has expertise in both the higher education and healthcare sectors, working for the past 13 years to spearhead multimillion-dollar capital campaigns, major gifts, corporate and foundation relations, annual giving, and alumni relations programs.
Most recently, Dr. Agnew served as the senior vice president of development and corporate chief development officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Health System (RWJ), where he was responsible for the management and strategic direction of three hospital foundations. He facilitated the successful completion of the “Breakthroughs” $45-million campaign, raising a total of $46.4 million, and in 2015, oversaw the second-largest fund-raising performance year in the foundation’s 34-year history.
Prior to his tenure at RWJ, Dr. Agnew held leadership advancement positions at Rutgers University from 2007 to 2013, serving as assistant dean for advancement and external relations and as director of development for the faculty of arts and sciences. During his tenure he secured multiple six- and seven-figure donations, including a $1-million endowment for undergraduate scholarships during the university’s $1-billion capital campaign. Prior to working at Rutgers, Dr. Agnew was director of annual giving and assistant director of alumni and parent relations at Utica College in New York.
Dr. Agnew earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and Communication from Rutgers University, School of Communication and Information; an M.B.A. from Syracuse University; and a B.S. in Public Relations and Journalism from Utica College.
Evelyn Saul Quinn, M.S.W., M.Ed., ’74
Vice President for Mission Integration
Evelyn Quinn has lived, led, and succeeded in the Mercy tradition for 32 years at Georgian Court University. She has taught hundreds of students in the Bachelor of Social Work program—a program she conceived, implemented, and chaired throughout its initial accreditation and eventual reaffirmation by the Council on Social Work Education. She rose from assistant, to associate professor, served on almost every institutional and faculty committee, and eventually chaired the Faculty Assembly. She also chaired the Middle States Self-Study Culture and Environment Committee.
She holds the terminal degree in her field, having received a Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in policy from Rutgers University, and a Master of Education, Counseling, and Special Services degree from Seton Hall University.
In 2002, she was appointed associate provost for student life and academic support and immediately began to revitalize and organize opportunities and student experiences. She soon accomplished her goal of developing a seamless learning environment that bridges academic and student life. She distinguished the university by creating Women in Leadership Development(WILD), GCU’s signature, four-year developmental program designed to educate and empower ethical women leaders. She originated the GCU First-Year Experience in partnership with school deans, faculty, and students to help first-year students succeed in transitioning to college.
She was named interim provost in January 2010 and provost in May 2010. After several years of leading the GCU faculty and growing the university’s partnerships and academic programs—including the school’s first online degrees—Ms. Quinn was named vice president for mission integration, effective July 2014.
John Sommer, CPA
Vice President for Finance and Administration/Chief Financial Officer
John Sommer is a veteran public accountant with two decades of public and private sector experience. He joined GCU in August 2014 after serving as the CFO of Hudson County Community College. During his tenure at HCCC, he managed grant accounting and helped the university write approximately $14 million in grant applications to underwrite a new science center.
Previously, Mr. Sommer also served at Centenary College in Hackettstown, first as an assistant professor of accounting where he developed content for an online master’s degree in accounting program, and later as CFO. During his time in the private sector, he worked with New York-based firms Goldstein Golub Kessler & Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Gerson Lehrman Group.
At Georgian Court, Mr. Sommer manages the university’s financial accounting, budget and planning processes, information technology, contractual services, GCU’s extensive facilities on the 156-acre campus, and financial aid operations. A graduate of Baruch College (City University of New York) and Long Island University, Mr. Sommer is completing a doctorate in higher education leadership and administration at Rowan University.
Justin G. Roy
Dean of Admissions
Justin G. Roy oversees enrollment management, one of the most critical areas of the university’s operations. Mr. Roy, formerly vice president of enrollment and marketing at William Peace University in Raleigh, N.C., has experience in recruitment, financial aid, marketing, operations planning, and business development. At William Peace, Mr. Roy expanded student recruitment territories among his staff and rebranded the university following its 2011–2012 transition from an historic women’s institution to a fully co-ed university. His work was integral to William Peace University’s considerable enrollment growth, having doubled enrollment to 1,084 students.
At Peace, Mr. Roy he also led integrated marketing and communications efforts, implemented a new customer relationship management (CRM) system, and designed strategic reorganizations—all of which contributed to increased student enrollments. During his time at Peace, he also transformed the school’s pricing strategy and financial aid operations, established award-winning internal and external communications, launched a Telecounseling Center, and managed the school’s Welcome Center.
Previously, he worked at Nichols College in Dudley, Mass., as director of social and digital media. There he increased brand visibility, led a Web site redesign, and implemented a range of digital strategies to support enrollment and Nichols’ online marketing.
Outside of higher education, Mr. Roy co-founded Give Back Chicago to match individuals’ professional skills with the needs of nonprofit organizations. He also served as a digital strategist for JG Enterprises and was chief operation/marketing officer for SullivanKreis.
Mr. Roy has an undergraduate degree in International Business from Assumption College and is working toward his M.B.A. at Southern New Hampshire University.
Gail H. Towns
Executive Director of Marketing & Communications
Gail Towns joined Georgian Court University in 2009 as director of public information and in 2011 became director of the university’s marketing and communications office, which manages editorial services, graphic design, advertising and marketing, web/electronic communications, grants, and government relations. The team plays an integral role in promoting Georgian Court as a university that delivers a powerful, value-added experience and expands possibility for its students.
The marketing team also promotes the university’s successes and provides strategic counsel regarding all communications efforts. In her current role, Ms. Towns works closely with university administrators—as well as campus staff and student leaders—to bolster messaging and brand awareness.
Her passion for higher education is not new. More than two decades ago Ms. Towns began her journalism career covering K-12 public schools and colleges and universities for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She also taught writing and reporting courses at Western Michigan University (WMU) and University of Cincinnati. In addition, she worked in college and university relations posts at Atlanta Technical College and WMU, and worked as a parenting columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Hamilton Journal-News and Cincinnati Parent. Her work has also appeared in Currents, the magazine of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Ms. Towns, who is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), holds a B.A. from Clark Atlanta University and an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University.