News Releases

St. Bonaventure University

SBU president tests positive for COVID-19

Jan 02, 2021

Dennis DePerroSt. Bonaventure University President Dr. Dennis DePerro is recovering after testing positive for COVID-19 on Christmas Eve. He was hospitalized in Syracuse earlier this week after developing pneumonia as a result of contracting the virus.

The president has been at his second home in Syracuse since departing campus Dec. 18 for the university’s two-week holiday break.

“We send Dr. DePerro our prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery,” said John Sheehan, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees. “I’ve spoken with the president and he’s in good spirits.”

As the president continues to recover, Dr. Joseph Zimmer, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, will temporarily assume the day-to-day leadership of the university. University offices reopen on Monday, Jan. 4, and classes begin Jan. 25.

“I’ve started to feel better the last couple of days and can’t thank the hospital staff enough for the care I’ve received,” Dr. DePerro said. “I have complete confidence in Dr. Zimmer and the university’s administration team as I work toward a full recovery. I look forward to being back on campus very soon.”

University communications requiring the attention of the president can be sent to Dr. Zimmer at or Ann Lehman, chief of staff in the Office of the President, at

Well wishes for Dr. DePerro can be shared on the university’s Facebook page.

For updates on the coronavirus at St. Bonaventure, click here to access the university’s COVID-19 webpage.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. In 2020, St. Bonaventure was named the #2 regional university value in New York and #3 in the North by U.S. News and World Report.