Ashford University Officially Welcomes New President Dr. Richard Pattenaude

San Diego community leaders host welcome reception in honor of Dr. Pattenaude

San Diego extended a warm welcome to Ashford University’s new president, Dr. Richard Pattenaude, at a reception held in his honor on Wednesday, Jan. 23. More than 120 people, including San Diego community leaders, packed the event at Ashford University’s Sunroad location to meet and greet Dr. Pattenaude.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work extensively with Dr. Pattenaude over the past few months and I believe we are fortunate to have him with us at Ashford University,” said Dr. Randy Ward, superintendent of the San Diego County Office of Education, who is also on the Ashford University Board of Trustees. “I look forward to continuing our work together.”

In addition to Dr. Ward, the event’s host committee included local leaders such as Paul Palmer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County, community leader Nathan Fletcher, Doug Sawyer of United Way and Tonya Torosian of Promises2Kids.

“I was moved by the warm reception I received from community leaders and heartened by the strong support that was expressed for Ashford University,” said Dr. Pattenaude. “It is a real honor to be president of Ashford University and I am excited about its future. I firmly believe that we have the right people in place and an excellent strategic plan to guide us.”

The welcome reception also included a hands-on “Technology Changes Everything” exhibit that showcased Ashford’s online classroom, digital learning devices and student experience.

Dr. Pattenaude joined Ashford University in Oct. 2012. He most recently served as the chancellor of the University of Maine System. While chancellor, he also held the position of chair of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the regional accrediting body. Prior to that, he served as the president of the University of Southern Maine. Dr. Pattenaude is currently the University of Maine System’s chancellor emeritus.


About Ashford University

Ashford University is defining the modern college experience by combining the heritage of a traditional campus with the flexibility and effectiveness of online learning. The University provides a vibrant learning community where high-quality programs and leading-edge technology create a dynamic, immersive and stimulating learning experience. Ashford University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association ( The University offers practical and progressive associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs online, as well as bachelor’s degree programs at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. Ashford University – where heritage meets innovation. For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.