Michael A. Scaperlanda, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, is the new president of St. Gregory's University in Shawnee, a Benedictine-sponsored school that is the state's only Catholic university. He took the post May 16.
Scaperlanda, who is the 16th president in St. Gregory's history, had been associated with the University of Oklahoma since 1989 when he left the practice of law. He held the Gene and Elaine Edwards Family Chair in Law at Oklahoma. He has taught in the university's Visions of America Summer Institute for high school teachers and its Warrior-Scholar Project for veterans enrolling in college.
He also has worked with the 100-year-old St. Gregory's over the past seven years as a member of the board of directors, including board vice chair, and assisting his predecessor, D. Gregory Main, in creating St. Gregory's strategic plan, "Vision For Our Next Century."
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City said in a statement that under Scaperlanda's leadership, "I am confident that the university will thrive providing students with the intellectual, moral and spiritual formation crucial to living joy-filled lives oriented toward the common good."
Scaperlanda has written the books Immigration Law: A Primer and Recovering Self-Evident Truths: Catholic Perspectives on American Law. He co-wrote, with his wife, Catholic press journalist Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda, The Journey: A Guide for the Modern Pilgrim.
Scaperlanda also serves as a scholar participant in the Fr. Stanley Rother Hispanic Cultural Institute of Oklahoma City and Norman. He is a past member of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the Oklahoma Bar Association's Legal Ethics Committee.
A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Scaperlanda clerked for the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court and practiced law for four years in Washington and in Austin, Texas.
He and his wife are members of St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Norman. They have four children and six grandchildren.