Posts Tagged ‘Jesuit Father C. Kevin Gillespie’

Jesuit Inaugurated as 27th President of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia

Jesuit Father C. Kevin GillespieJesuit Father C. Kevin Gillespie was inaugurated as the 27th president of his alma mater, Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, on Oct. 12, at an event attended by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

Fr. Gillespie graduated from Saint Joseph’s with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1972, making him only the second alumnus to become president of the university. The first was also a Gillespie: Jesuit Father Cornelius Gillespie, who served in 1900-1907 and again in 1908-1909. Fr. C. Kevin Gillespie isn’t sure if they are related, but his parents and Cornelius Gillespie were both from Donegal, Ireland.

As president of Saint Joseph’s, Fr. Gillespie said he looks forward to working with this generation of students. “We’re exposing them to a global way of being in the world for the 21st century that has a confidence, a depth and a potential,” he said. “We’re inspiring students toward an education that’s global and that involves citizenship with values, virtues and sacrifices.”

Fr. Gillespie said that when he was a student at St. Joseph’s he learned about global citizenship through a service trip to Colombia. “It raised my consciousness to see the poor, to see people coming up from the Amazon and Chocó Rivers, and it raised the question: Why them, not me? Why do I have the chance for an education and not them?”

Fr. Gillespie said that Saint Joseph’s taught him to pursue questions in a quest for meaning in life. “I’m still questing, but I have confidence that meaning can be found,” he said.

After graduating from Saint Joseph’s, Fr. Gillespie went on to earn a 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.

Prior to his appointment at Saint Joseph’s, Fr. Gillespie served as associate provost for University Centers of Excellence at Loyola University Chicago, where he oversaw five academic centers. He succeeds Jesuit Father Timothy R. Lannon, who is now president of Creighton University in Omaha. Read more about Fr. Gillespie in this SJU Magazine article.

Jesuit Named New President of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia

Jesuit Father C. Kevin Gillespie, the associate provost at Loyola University in Chicago, has been selected as the new president of St. Joseph’s University.

Fr. Gillespie, a native Philadelphian, graduated from St. Joseph’s in 1972, and will be the first St. Joe’s alumnus to serve as university president in over 100 years.  He will assume his new position on July 1, 2012.

“Kevin Gillespie is deeply respected by his Jesuit brothers as a man of integrity and deep spirituality,” said Jesuit Father Dan Joyce, assistant vice president for mission and identity, in an email.

Gillespie will succeed former president Timothy R. Lannon, who left St. Joseph’s this year to become president of Creighton University in Omaha.

Jesuit Father Thomas Brennan, associate professor of English, said he believes Gillespie’s background in pastoral counseling will influence how he conducts himself as university president: “I would think he’d be very interested in talking to people. He would bring a very pastoral perspective, which would be good. He would be very available to people who have concerns.”

“I think he understands Philadelphia and the Church here a lot better than other people,” said Brennan. “He’s someone who has a deep commitments to Philadelphia.”

Until Gillespie’s arrival next year, senior vice president John W. Smithson will continue as interim president, the university said.

In January, St. Joseph’s trustees elected Jesuit Father Joseph O’Keefe to replace Lannon, but O’Keefe withdrew in March, citing health problems. O’Keefe was dean of Boston College’s Lynch School of Education.

Gillespie earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Joseph’s in 1972. He earned master’s degrees in psychology from Duquesne University and in divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. He holds a Ph.D. in pastoral psychology from Boston University.

Gillespie “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,” Robert Falese, chairman of the board of trustees, said in a statement.