Presidential Transition

About Xavier University

Founded in 1831, Xavier University is a Jesuit Catholic University in Cincinnati, Ohio, annually ranked among the nation’s best universities. Our four colleges offer 90+ undergraduate majors, 60+ minors and 40+ graduate programs to approximately 6,500 total students, including 4,500 undergraduates.


Xavier is a Jesuit Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts tradition. Our mission is to educate each student intellectually, morally, and spiritually. We create learning opportunities through rigorous academic and professional programs integrated with co-curricular engagement. In an inclusive environment of open and free inquiry, we prepare students for a world that is increasingly diverse, complex and interdependent. Driven by our commitment to educating the whole person, promoting the common good, and serving others, the Xavier community challenges and supports all our members as we cultivate lives of reflection, compassion and informed action. 

Latest Rankings

  • Ranked among the Top Ten Best Regional Universities in the Midwest for the 26th consecutive year (S. News & World Report, 2021)
  • Named a "Top College" (Forbes Magazine, 2019)
  • Recognized as one of the top 100 "Best Value" private universities (Kiplinger's Personal Finance, 2019)
  • Listed among the Best 386 Colleges (Princeton Review, 2021)
  • Top 50 Catholic universities in the country (com, 2020)
  • #4 in the country for "Students Pack the Stadium" (Princeton Review, 2019)

Commitment to Jesuit education

  • Xavier has 226 current faculty and staff who have been honored as a Province Ignatian Educator of Distinction. This public recognition highlights an individual’s commitment and competence in animating the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence. It is based on depth and time of education typically consisting of 20 hours in a one-year period engaged in comprehensive education and/or scholarship on Jesuit identity.
  • Assuring the Future Mission and Identity of Xavier (AFMIX) is the university's flagship professional development program focusing on the mission and identity of the University. The 11th cohort of this 2-year program, now in its 22 year, is for faculty, staff, and administrators of any religious affiliation, or none at all.
  • Fr. Dan McDonald, S.J., Provincial Assistant for Jesuit Higher Education, during an annual review noted, "Everyone I visited with at Xavier seems to be striving to engage the Mission Statement and the Catholic Jesuit identity of the University."

President Michael Graham, S.J.

  • In 2019, Graham became the longest tenured President in the history of Xavier University, surpassing Paul O’Connor, S.J., who served for 17 years from 1955-1972.
  • During his 20-year tenure as President, Father has always shared that, "Xavier's mission is to serve society by forming students intellectually, morally and spiritually, with rigor and compassion, towards lives of solidarity and service."
  • Graham's commitment to Xavier's Jesuit heritage and spirituality can be found in the Ruth J. and Robert A. Conway Institute for Jesuit Education, which assists faculty in transforming students, and in numerous programs based in the Center for Mission and Identity that engage faculty and staff in Jesuit heritage and values.
  • The impact of President Graham's academic and community-based vision for Xavier is far reaching. His passion to connect and collaborate with local and regional communities inspired him to establish the Community Building Institute as well as the Eigel Center for Community Engagement at Xavier.
  • Graham will continue his service as president through June 30, 2021. 

Welcome Colleen M. Hanycz, PhD

  • Dr. Hanycz was selected from a deep, talented and diverse pool of candidates. She possesses an excellent scholarly and leadership background as a former associate professor of law, litigator, principal and university president.
  • Deeply experienced at leading an institution of higher education, Dr. Hanycz has been the President of two Catholic universities – serving for six years at La Salle University in Philadelphia, and having served seven years at Brescia University College in London, Ontario.
  • Dr. Hanycz will become the first lay and first female president in Xavier's 190-year history.  She has done this before, serving as both firsts in La Salle's history.
    • Of the 26 other Jesuit institutions, 15 have non-Jesuit presidents. With Dr. Hanycz, now 16 of the 27 will be led by lay men and women. Of the now 16 non-Jesuit presidents, women lead three others. 

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