Colleen Hanycz installed as Xavier University’s first woman and lay president

On Oct. 28, Colleen M. Hanycz, PhD, was installed as Xavier University‘s 35th president. The installation ceremony followed a week of inauguration events including a National Day of Service and Solidarity, Academic Showcase and Missioning Mass, among other events.

In her inaugural address, President Hanycz said today offered an opportunity to celebrate all the university has become since its founding in 1831, and she encouraged the community to embrace progress in the years to come while staying true to Xavier’s Jesuit Catholic mission.

Colleen Hanycz with predecessor Father Michael Graham

“Since that first day almost 200 years ago, we have worked to transform the lives of our students, forming them to be professional leaders and laureates, community engagers, spiritual seekers and remarkable men and women, for and with others,” President Hanycz said. “So, today, we gather to reflect on the sacred Gifts of our Ignatian heritage and to fix our collective gaze on the very exciting oceans ahead.”

Hanycz also noted, “Xavier is a Jesuit Catholic university with remarkable bones, steeped in a richness that provides a strong foundation as we turn to the future. Ours is a community that is dedicated to academic excellence and to forming students for lives of faith and purpose, committed to justice. It is a community that holds itself to the highest ideals of inclusion, to creating an environment of belonging for all.”

Special guests attending the event included:

  • Rev. Anthony R. Brausch, Rector, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary
  • Rev. Karl J. Kiser, S.J., Provincial, USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus
  • Christopher Smitherman, vice mayor, City of Cincinnati
  • Members of city, state and regional government
  • Presidents from Villanova University, Creighton University, Thomas More University, Mount Saint Joseph University and the University of Dayton

Hanycz is the first layperson and woman to serve in the role of president in Xavier’s 190-year history. Throughout her career as an attorney, professor and administrator, Hanycz has been an active proponent of Catholic education as a means to advance the common good and to celebrate the dignity of each person, and will continue this commitment in a Jesuit setting at Xavier. From 2015 to 2021, Hanycz served as the 29th president of La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA.

More information about President Hanycx and inauguration activities.

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