President Hanycz addressing the room during her installation ceremony.  She is standing behind a podium. There are flags representing each Jesuit university behind her.

Dr. Hanycz Officially Installed as Xavier University President

Oct 28, 2021

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On Thursday, Colleen M. Hanycz, PhD, was officially installed as Xavier University's 35th president.

Faculty, staff, students, alumni and dignitaries gathered at Cintas Center Arena to celebrate the Inauguration of President Hanycz, who assumed her post in July.

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.

“The temptation is always to view an inauguration as being focused on the person wearing the new robe. But the real focus of an inauguration should be on the institution itself,” President Hanycz said. “It is about the resilience of this place, thriving through countless generations of students and faculty and staff and alumni and presidents outliving its founders, and with certainty, being destined to outlive all of us here today.”

“Xavier is a Jesuit Catholic university with remarkable bones, steeped in a richness that provides a strong foundation as we turn to the future,” she added. “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.”

Many special guests attended the event, including:

  • Very Rev. Anthony R. Brausch, Rector, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary
  • Very 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
  • Numerous college presidents including presidents from Villanova University, Creighton University, Thomas More University, Mount Saint Joseph University, and the University of Dayton

President Hanycz is the first layperson and woman to serve in the role of president in Xavier’s 190-year history. Throughout her accomplished 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 she 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.

More information about President Hanycz and the Inauguration activities can be found at

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