Xavier University Announces First Woman President

Jan 11, 2021

Xavier University has named its first female president in its 190-year history. Colleen Hanycz is also the first lay person to hold the job.

She begins July 1 and succeeds Father Michael Graham, who announced his retirement last March. Previously, Hanycz (pronounced HAN-ish) was the president of La Salle University in Philadelphia, a Lasallian, Catholic university; as well as president of Brescia University in Canada, a Catholic women's university in the Ursuline tradition, according to a release.

Hanycz says she's excited to partner with Xavier's community in writing the next chapter in its storied history.

"Xavier's lived mission is deeply appealing to me," Hanycz says in a statement. "As a Jesuit, Catholic university committed to serving society by forming students intellectually, morally and spiritually for lives of solidarity and service, Xavier's values strongly align with my own."

Fr. Graham will continue in his role as president through June 30. He is the longest-serving president in the university's history.