Saint Joseph's University Names Gillespie Its 27th President

SJU Alumnus Returns to Assume Presidency of His Alma Mater

Thursday, November 10, 2011

PHILADELPHIA (November 10, 2011) – The Saint Joseph’s University Board of Trustees today elected C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J., Ph.D. as its 27th president. A Saint Joseph’s alumnus (’72) who currently serves as associate provost for University Centers of Excellence at Loyola University Chicago, he will be introduced to SJU students, faculty and staff at a special gathering of the campus community tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 11, at 11:30 a.m. in the Campus Commons on the University’s Maguire Campus.

“It is truly an honor for the Board of Trustees to introduce Fr. Gillespie as the next president of Saint Joseph’s University,” said Robert Falese ’69, chairman of Saint Joseph’s Board of Trustees. “He is an accomplished, and acclaimed, scholar with a commitment to academic excellence and a fervent dedication to advancing his alma mater and Catholic, Jesuit education in the region and indeed around the globe.

“He is the right Jesuit to lead Saint Joseph’s forward and into the future at a time of great momentum for the University.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Saint Joseph’s College in 1972, Fr. Gillespie went on to earn master’s degrees in psychology from Duquesne University and in divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology Berkeley. He holds a Ph.D. in pastoral psychology from Boston University.

As associate provost for University Centers of Excellence at Loyola University Chicago, he leads five academic centers and, for the past year, simultaneously served as interim dean of the School of Social Work, managing a successful transition to a new permanent dean.

Prior to that (1996-2010), he served as the first director of the master’s program in Spiritual and Pastoral Care and founded LOGOS (Loyola Overseas Gestures of Solidarity) at Loyola College in Maryland. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1975. He has served on the Board of Saint Joseph’s since 2006.

“The extraordinarily hardworking search committee more than fulfilled the goals of the Leadership Statement for the position of president of Saint Joseph’s University,” noted Daniel Hilferty ’78, SJU board vice chair and chair of the search committee. “In Fr. Gillespie we have a recognized scholar and a leader with a rich background of academic experience and vision for academic distinction as well as a keen understanding of the challenges facing higher education in the 21st century.”

Fr. Gillespie succeeds Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., who served as Saint Joseph’s president from 2003 until earlier this year, when he left to assume the presidency of Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. Fr. Gillespie will officially take over as president on July 1, 2012. Senior Vice President John W. Smithson ’68 (B.S), ’82 (M.B.A.) will continue in his role as Interim President until then.

“I am honored and truly humbled to be coming home to serve my alma mater, Saint Joseph’s University, as its 27th president,” Fr. Gillespie said. “It’s an exciting and wonderful opportunity to work with faculty, students, staff and administrators, as well as alumni, trustees and friends who share a commitment to its Jesuit values and to boldly advancing the University into the future.”

Note: A downloadable high-resolution photo of Father Gillespie is available at

For the full video of Friday’s event, visit

Media Contact

Harriet K. Goodheart, Assistant Vice President for University Communications, 610-660-1532,


Founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Joseph’s University is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide-array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive resume and global perspective. This is achieved through intense academic study led by thought-leading faculty scholars, a comprehensive campus experience and robust study abroad, service-learning, internship and co-op programs. Upon graduation, nearly 100 percent of students are employed, pursuing advanced degrees or volunteering in prestigious service programs. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, SJU offers 20 Division I intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. SJU alumni – over 60,000 strong - provide a powerful network that spans the globe.

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