Saint Joseph’s University President C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J. Announces Plans to Step Down

Friday, August 15, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (August 15, 2014) — Saint Joseph’s University President C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J. ’72 announced today his plans to step down at the end of his term in June 2015. The Board of Trustees will form a representative committee of students, faculty, alumni and staff to conduct a national search for his successor, one that will be conducted during the 2014-15 academic year.

“On behalf of my fellow trustees and the entire SJU community, I want to express how much we appreciate the dedication and loyalty Father Gillespie has provided Saint Joseph’s during the past two years,” said Edward W. Moneypenny ’64, chair of the Saint Joseph’s University Board of Trustees. “Higher education is in the midst of tremendous change. However, Father has helped us weather a challenging environment during which we made significant investments in our academic programs and campus facilities and experienced a continued increase in the demand for a top-tier Jesuit, Catholic education.

“We are proud to welcome to Hawk Hill the second-largest freshman class in our history later this month, and the quality of incoming students remains outstanding. This demand and continued strong operating margins bode well for the future. The Board is committed to conducting a national search for a strong leader who will shepherd Saint Joseph’s University to continued success in the years to come.”

Fr. Gillespie’s legacy is one of great personal and campus investment. It includes continued expansion into the Maguire Campus (on the site of the former Episcopal Academy), the addition of the former Cardinal’s Mansion (soon to be opened as an Admissions and welcome center), and completion of a new Campus Master Plan. The University has also adopted a new Mission Statement and experienced ongoing successes from its award-winning Magis campaign.

“I'm proud of what we have accomplished together and I look forward to building on that momentum in the next year,” Fr. Gillespie stated. “Since 1968, first as a student, then as an alumnus, administrator, trustee and now president, I have been a part of this great institution. And SJU certainly will always be a part of me. I am grateful for the opportunity to have served and will carry immense pride in being a Hawk long into the future.”

As part of the upcoming leadership transition, senior vice president John Smithson ’68, ’82 (MBA) will conclude his long and distinguished service to Saint Joseph’s at the end of 2014-15 academic year. Smithson has overseen numerous successes as interim president and senior vice president, this after even lengthier service as a trustee and Board chair. University operations and SJU’s financial profile have all remained strong under his leadership.

Related: Message from Fr. Gillespie to SJU Community | Message from Board Chair Edward Moneypenny '64

Media Contact

Joseph M. Lunardi '82, Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications, 610-660-1222,


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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