This year, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) is bidding a bittersweet farewell to eight presidents who have retired from or concluded their terms at our member institutions during the 2021-22 academic year. All of these men and women have led our institutions with wisdom, faith and strength, inspiring countless colleagues, students, alumni and friends along the way.

We have compiled a series of tributes from colleagues who shared their favorite memories and well-wishes for our presidents. We invite you to view the videos and photos, and read through the written tributes on this page. Please note: Full written tributes are available to view as a PowerPoint, which was presented during the AJCU Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, June 21: click here to download it online. You are also welcome to submit your well-wishes in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

On behalf of our president, Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., we thank all of our presidents and pray for their next chapters in life!

John J. Hurley, J.D., Canisius University (2010)

“John has been a calm, courageous and collaborative leader who leaves Canisius with a legacy of academic revitalization, a student-centered focus, and a deep-seated commitment to the Jesuit, Catholic mission.” – Lee C. Wortham ‘79, Former Chair, Board of Trustees

“All of the work John undertook as president took tremendous courage, intelligence, faith and heart. I cannot imagine anyone but John to have led us through the last twelve years. He’s made an indelible impression on Canisius and me personally. I wish him and his family every happiness in the next leg of the journey. I can’t wait to see what he does next!” – Erica Sammarco, Secretary, Board of Trustees

“What I have learned directly about John is that he approaches decisions with integrity—always discerning as best he can which of the possible decisions is best for his beloved alma mater and is the most consistent with its mission.” – Sandra M. Estanek, Ph.D., Professor Emerita & Interim Vice President for Student Affairs

As an alumnus whose family has long and deep connections to the college, John’s blood is blue and gold.” – Sara R. Morris, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs

Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., Fordham University (2003)

“Fr. McShane leads from the front. A university is like a city and the president is its mayor. No university could ask for a better ‘mayor’ than Fr. McShane.” – Dorothy Marinucci, Associate Vice President for Presidential Operations

“While many will remember Joe for his extraordinary wisdom, wit, and inspirational leadership, those who know him best will value above all his endearing other-centeredness, always making others—students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors—the focus, never calling attention to himself or his considerable achievements as our president over these past nineteen years.” – Rev. John Cecero, S.J., Vice President for Mission Integration and Ministry

“Fr. McShane has left a lasting imprint on Fordham in many ways. The Center for Jewish Studies is one of those enduring legacies of his tenure as president. On behalf of our students, faculty, and the public, I want to express my deepest gratitude for his commitment to make Jewish studies an integral part of Fordham.” – Magda Teter, Professor of History & Shvidler Chair in Judaic Studies

Dr. Jo Ann Rooney, Loyola University Chicago (2016)

“Jo Ann took being entrusted as the Director of a Jesuit apostolic work seriously, and being President was always about furthering the mission and not her ego.” – Rev. James S. Prehn, S.J., Vice President & Chief of Staff

“Slow, thoughtful, and always focused on our people—students, faculty, and staff—best describes her engagement with the senior leadership team and decision-making during the past few years.” – Wayne Magdziarz, Senior Vice President & CFO/CBO

“Dr. Rooney reminds us often of the importance of what we do each day to advance our mission and to keep our promises to our students about gaining the knowledge and skills needed to live extraordinary lives. – Margaret Faut Callahan, CRNA, Ph.D., FNAP, FAAN, Provost, Health Sciences Division

“I learned from Dr. Rooney that ‘executive presence’ infused with Jesuit values is not as much about projecting authority as it is about being present with and for others … Her selfless leadership facilitated a host of achievements, built relationships, erased academic and operational silos, and connected all of us more deeply in the work of education, research and service.” – Christian Anderson, Director of Executive Strategic Communications

Tania Tetlow, J.D., Loyola University New Orleans (2018)

“I had the opportunity to work very closely with Tania at a very difficult time in the history of Loyola University New Orleans: August 2018 through July 2020 during a probation set by our accreditors. Later, Tania and I would joke that she must have been temporarily insane to take on the role as president of Loyola when she did. The truth is that she was not crazy: she was driven to serve at the right place and at the right time. Tania engendered confidence in our community that we felt we could overcome this obstacle and indeed, FY19, the first year of her presidency, would be our first balanced budget in a significant number of years.” – Maria Calzada, Ph.D., Dean of Arts and Sciences

Left: Video from Chris Wiseman, Ph.D. (‘88), Vice President of University Advancement

Rev. John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J., Regis University (2012)

“Fr. Fitzgibbons is a principled and consistent voice for those in need, from the unhoused and immigrants, to refugees. Whether here in Colorado or across the world in Africa, he is an advocate for racial justice and equity in society. He was a president, leader and pastor who helped us navigate both good and difficult passages that we all experienced.” – Cody Teets, Interim President

“He has acted as a constant agent of change at Regis, where I experienced his tireless efforts in empowering those at the margins, encouraging and enabling them to become active participants in our community. These deeds exemplify the love defined by St. Ignatius and the character of Fr. John Fitzgibbons, S.J.” – Salvador Aceves, Senior Vice President and CFO

Rev. Thomas B. Curran, S.J., Rockhurst University (2006)

“Fr. Curran is an exceptional leader, mentor and confidant, and a caring and humble person. His quick wit, humor, and laugh are refreshing and have lightened the stress level experienced over the years. And, as if that was not enough, he hand delivers a dozen fresh donuts from our favorite baker every Saturday morning to our police officers and dispatchers working the weekend shift!” – Chief Randy Hopkins ‘20, Department of Safety and Security

“As I have progressed through my time in school, I have gotten to see another side of Fr. Curran: as a professor. In his Catholic Social Teaching course, I was enlightened to what it truly means to live for and with others in the pursuit of justice for all. He led by example and showed true dedication to living like Jesus would, all while taking on the tremendous duty of being the president of a university during a pandemic.’ – Drew Hedrick, Rockhurst University ‘23

Dr. Mark C. Reed, Saint Joseph’s University (2015)

“Mark and his leadership team have set a path of strategic transformation that will launch our proud university into a new era of excellence: Excellence in our academic standing, excellence in the breadth of our educational programs, excellence in our student experience, and excellence in our campus experience.” – James Norris, Chair, Board of Trustees

“His deep understanding of and commitment to Jesuit education is remarkable and guides his actions each and every day.” – Sarah Quinn ’89, ’09 (MBA) Associate Vice President & Chief of Staff

“I will be forever thankful to Dr. Reed for hiring me as the first female Director of Athletics in the Atlantic 10 Conference. During the four years we have worked together, Dr. Reed has taught me a great deal about leadership; challenged me in ways that made me better; and supported me unconditionally during tough times.” – Jill Bodensteiner, Vice President & Director of Athletics

Dr. Antoine M. Garibaldi, University of Detroit Mercy (2011)

“When we hired Dr. Antoine Garibaldi in 2011, I knew we were getting an experienced academic leader, a scholar, and someone who would embrace the Jesuit and Mercy charisms. What I didn’t realize was that we would benefit from his exceptional fondness for and care of our students and staff, that he would give so much time to make Detroit a better community, that his wife, Carol, would enthusiastically engage in Detroit Mercy activities, and that I would find a dear friend.” John D. Lewis, Detroit Mercy Board of Trustees (Chairman: 2010-17)

“With momentum gained during Dr. Antoine Garibaldi’s leadership, Detroit Mercy is set up better than ever for future growth. His tenure was marked by an increase in regional and national prominence and more program/facility building to draw more students to our dual charisms (Jesuit and Mercy). He helped position the university to effectively adapt to the realities of pandemic-era higher education.” – Dr. Matthew Mio, Chair, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

“President Garibaldi has focused on improving access to higher education throughout his professional career. He has been committed to creating a boundless future that truly embraces diversity, inclusion and equity. Thank you, Antoine, for all you have done to enhance the mission of Detroit Mercy as we seek to educate leaders in service to others in the spirit of Catherine McAuley and St. Ignatius of Loyola.” – Sisters of Mercy of the Americas at University of Detroit Mercy