Mark Lombardi, PhD, president of Maryville University, is the new chair of the St. Louis Sports Commission. The Sports Commission’s board of directors elected Lombardi to a two-year term effective Jan. 1, 2018. He will lead the volunteer board of the privately-funded nonprofit organization, whose mission is to make St. Louis a better place to live, visit, work and play through sports.
“I am honored to help promote St. Louis as one of the great sports cities of America,” Lombardi said. “The St. Louis Sports Commission will continue to create support and promote an array of youth, collegiate and professional sports as well as enhance our reputation as the capital of sportsmanship in the USA.”
Lombardi was named president of Maryville University in 2007. Under his leadership, the school has been twice named by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 Overperforming University in the nation. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Maryville as the third fastest growing private university in the United States. Lombardi’s tenure has seen Maryville’s student population grow to more than 7,800 students from all 50 states and 60 countries. Over the last decade, the University’s profile has also significantly expanded in the St. Louis community.
In addition to partnering with the Sports Commission to host the 2015 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships – as it will also do in 2022 – Maryville is the presenting sponsor of the Musial Awards. The national event is produced annually by the Sports Commission and celebrates the year’s greatest moments of sportsmanship.
“Mark is truly a visionary and a transformative leader,” said Sports Commission President Frank Viverito. “To have him accept the role of chair is so meaningful to our organization and our efforts to make a positive impact on St. Louis through sports. Mark cares deeply about the region – and he takes very seriously the opportunity that he and Maryville have to make a difference in our community.”
The Sports Commission focuses on attracting, creating and managing major sporting events for the St. Louis region. The organization uses the power of sports to enhance the area’s quality of life and create economic and social benefit for the community.
Upcoming Sports Commission events include the Musial Awards on Nov. 18 at Peabody Opera House; Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament, March 1-4, at Scottrade Center; SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, March 7-11, at Scottrade Center; SEC Gymnastics Championship, March 24, at Chaifetz Arena; NCAA Women’s Bowling Championship, April 12-14, at Tropicana Bowling Lanes; NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships, April 20-21, at Chaifetz Arena; and the PGA Championship, Aug. 6-12, at Bellerive Country Club.