Presidential Transition

Letter from Board Chair to the Xavier Community

January 11, 2021

To the Xavier community,

On behalf of the Xavier University Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce that Colleen M. Hanycz, PhD, (pronounced Han-ich) has accepted our offer to serve as the 35th President of Xavier University, starting July 1, 2021. After a comprehensive search including a deep, talented and diverse pool of candidates, Dr. Hanycz’s leadership, academic credentials, character and commitment to Catholic higher education highlight her ability to serve as our next president and lead Xavier into the future.

Dr. Hanycz currently serves as President of La Salle University in Philadelphia, a Lasallian, Catholic university. Prior to that, she served for seven years as Principal (President) of Brescia University College in London, Ontario, Canada, a Catholic women’s university in the Ursuline tradition.

"Xavier's lived mission is deeply appealing to me," Dr. Hanycz noted to us. "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. Building on the tremendous legacy of Fr. Michael Graham, S.J., I am excited to partner with Xavier’s community in writing the next chapter in its storied history."

Dr. Hanycz will become the first lay and first female president in Xavier’s 190-year history. Dr. Hanycz has done this before, serving as both firsts in La Salle's history. A former associate professor of law, Dr. Hanycz possesses an excellent teaching and academic background, with a demonstrated passion for student-centered education.

We would like to extend our thanks to the members of the Board of Trustees and the Xavier University community who assisted us in this national search. Their dedication to finding the best leader has been impressive. Fr. Graham will continue his service as president through June 30, 2021.

Dr. Hanycz will soon have the opportunity to visit campus and begin the transition process. She will be introduced to campus leaders and the area's media at a press conference on Jan. 25. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the event will be invitation only, but live-streamed for all to watch.

Dr. Hanycz tells us that she and her husband, Peter, and their family, are looking forward to moving to Cincinnati this coming summer and beginning their Xavier University experience. Additional information about the presidential transition and Dr. Hanycz can be found at

All the best,

Vince Caponi, XU '72
Chairman of Xavier's Board of Trustees 
Retired - President and CEO
St. Vincent's Health Services