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Presidential Timeline

2022 President's Inauguration Rays Hero Image

Presidential Timeline

Presidential Inauguration

Twenty-five presidents have guided Loyola University Chicago since its founding in 1870 as St. Ignatius College. Here are some highlights of each administration.

Mark C. Reed, EdD
25th President

Mark C. Reed, EdD

2022

A lifelong product of Jesuit education, Dr. Reed joins Loyola after seven years as the first lay president at Saint Joseph’s University. His career has focused on strengthening the institutions he has served, particularly in the areas of expanded academic programs, strategic partnerships, university finances and endowment, student formation, and advancement of the Jesuit, Catholic mission.

Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD
24th President

Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD

2016-2022

The first lay leader in Loyola’s 149-year history, Dr. Rooney is focused on consolidating the gains of recent decades and on strengthening Loyola’s academic and research excellence, deepening the University’s Jesuit commitment to sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and interdisciplinary innovations that address urgent social issues.

Michael Garanzini, S.J.
23rd President

Michael Garanzini, S.J.

2001-2015

Under Father Garanzini enrollment soared, finances stabilized, and construction boomed—and Loyola was transformed into one of the top universities in the country. He served as the University’s chancellor from 2015-2017.

John Piderit, S.J.
22nd President

John Piderit, S.J.

1993-2001

Father Piderit launched the Loyola Experience to help students grow and develop through academic, social, and service opportunities. The University also received a Phi Beta Kappa honor society chapter and celebrated its 125th anniversary during his tenure.

Raymond Baumhart, S.J.
21st President

Raymond Baumhart, S.J.

1970-1993

A Chicago native, Father Baumhart fought in the U.S. Navy during World War II. His 23-year presidency at Loyola was profound and far-reaching: full-time faculty doubled; library volumes nearly tripled; and the endowment rose from $20 million to more than $400 million.

James Maguire, S.J.
20th President

James Maguire, S.J.

1955-1970

Father Maguire oversaw a period of massive growth at Loyola, turning it into one of the largest Catholic universities in the country. The Rome Center, the Institute of Pastoral Studies, and the medical center were all established during his tenure.

James Hussey, S.J.
19th President

James Hussey, S.J.

1945-1955

Father Hussey’s 10-year presidency at Loyola transformed the school both physically and academically. During his tenure the school acquired Lewis Towers and a three-story building on Pearson Street, marking the beginning of the Water Tower Campus.

Joseph Egan, S.J.
18th President

Joseph Egan, S.J.

1942-1945

His time at Loyola was challenged by World War II, which severely restricted enrollment. But despite the circumstances, he conferred 150 degrees in December 1943, most of which were for medical school graduates.

Samuel Wilson, S.J.
17th President

Samuel Wilson, S.J.

1933-1942

Father Wilson began his career at Loyola as a history professor before becoming the department’s chairman and eventually, the University’s president. The School of Nursing and Madonna della Strada Chapel opened their doors during his tenure.

Robert Kelley, S.J.
16th President

Robert Kelley, S.J.

1927-1933

Before coming to Chicago, Father Kelley served as president of Regis College for six years. At Loyola, he oversaw the building of the Elizabeth M. Cudahy Library and created the intramural athletics program.

William Agnew, S.J.
15th President

William Agnew, S.J.

1921-1927

He started his career in academia as a physics teacher before becoming an impactful administrator. During his term in office, Father Agnew established Loyola’s dental and business schools, as well as the Graduate School.

John Furay, S.J.
14th President

John Furay, S.J.

1915-1921

A tireless worker, Father Furay encouraged students to develop strong work habits as well. He established the University’s Summer School Program and the Correspondence Study Division to meet the needs of servicemen, housewives, and the blind.

John Mathery, S.J.
13th President

John Mathery, S.J.

1912-1915

After immigrating from France, Father Mathery joined the Jesuits at 18. He had an impactful presidency at the University, welcoming the first female students to campus and starting the School of Social Work and Loyola University Press.

Alexander Burrowes, S.J.
12th President

Alexander Burrowes, S.J.

1908-1912

Father Burrowes opened the college’s first professional schools, the School of Law and the School of Medicine. One year after taking office, he acquired a new state charter that officially turned St. Ignatius College into Loyola University on October 23, 1909.

Henry Dumbach, S.J.
11th President

Henry Dumbach, S.J.

1900-1908

He was a talented student from a young age and entered the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Stanislaus at 17. Father Dumbach formed the College of Arts & Sciences and purchased 19 acres of land in Rogers Park that would become the Lake Shore Campus.

John Pahls, S.J.
10th President

John Pahls, S.J.

1898-1900

Father Pahls joined the Society of Jesus after becoming disenchanted with his career in business. Although only at St. Ignatius College for two years, he was a conscientious administrator and leader.

James Hoeffer, S.J.
9th President

James Hoeffer, S.J.

1894-1898

An enthusiastic administrator—and a huge proponent of rallying graduates around their alma mater—Father Hoeffer launched the school’s alumni association. In 1895, he oversaw the school’s silver jubilee celebration.

Thomas Fitzgerald, S.J.
8th President

Thomas Fitzgerald, S.J.

1891-1894

He left Ireland with his family as a young boy and settled in Chicago, eventually joining Father Damen’s Holy Family Parish. During his time at St. Ignatius, the college established a scientific academy and started a camera club.

Edward Higgins, S.J.
7th President

Edward Higgins, S.J.

1887-1891

Father Higgins had a storied career as an educator and administrator before coming to Chicago. At St. Ignatius, he started the athletic association and helped expand the school’s library to more than 5,000 volumes.

Joseph Zealand, S.J.
6th President

Joseph Zealand, S.J.

1884-1887

As a young Jesuit, he traveled with Father Damen—the founder of St. Ignatius College—on a far-reaching missionary tour. In Chicago, he helped drive the college’s enrollment above 300 for the first time.

Thomas O’Neil, S.J.
5th President

Thomas O’Neil, S.J.

1880-1884

A gifted administrator, Father O’Neil increased enrollment by more than 30 percent during his tenure—from 203 to 265 students. After his stint in Chicago, he returned to Missouri to train new Jesuits and serve as a seminary rector.

Thomas Miles, S.J.
4th President

Thomas Miles, S.J.

1877-1880

Father Miles, a member of a prominent Kentucky family, had a short but distinguished career in Chicago. Among his highlights: creating the St. Cecilia Choral Society and introducing a scientific course leading to a bachelor of science degree.

John DeBlieck, S.J.
3rd President

John DeBlieck, S.J.

1874-1877

A philosopher who challenged the status quo, Father DeBlieck was a renowned missionary and three-time university president. During his time in Chicago, he presided over St. Ignatius College’s first graduating class of seven men.

Ferdinand Coosemans, S.J.
2nd President

Ferdinand Coosemans, S.J.

1872-1874

Before coming to Chicago, Father Coosemans served as the president of St. Louis University for three years. The first degree in St. Ignatius College’s history—a master of arts awarded on June 25, 1873—came during his tenure.

Arnold Damen, S.J.
Founder and 1st President

Arnold Damen, S.J.

1870-1872

Father Damen founded St. Ignatius College, the predecessor of Loyola University Chicago, on the city’s West Side in 1870. As the school’s first president, he oversaw a faculty of four priests and a student body of 37 young men.