SJU to Inaugurate C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J., Ph.D. ’72 as its 27th President

Friday, September 28, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 1, 2012) – Saint Joseph’s University will inaugurate C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J., Ph.D. ’72 as its 27th president on Friday, Oct. 12, the culmination of a weeklong series of events in celebration of his inauguration.

The inaugural ceremony will take place in the Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena on the Saint Joseph’s campus, with the procession starting at 10:30 a.m. and the ceremony at 11 a.m., followed by a reception. 

Among those scheduled to speak at the inauguration are The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., D.D., Archbishop of Philadelphia, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

His appointment as president marks a return to Saint Joseph’s for the Narberth-raised Fr. Gillespie, who after graduating from SJU went on to earn master’s degrees in psychology from Duquesne University and in divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology Berkeley. He also holds a Ph.D. in pastoral psychology from Boston University. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1975.

Most recently, he served as associate provost for University Centers of Excellence at Loyola University Chicago, where he oversaw five academic centers. In his last year there, he simultaneously served as interim dean of the School of Social Work, managing a successful transition to a new permanent dean.

Inaugural week will kick off on Saturday, Oct. 6, with Community Day.  Following a commissioning at 9 a.m. in the Chapel of St. Joseph-Michael J. Smith, S.J., Memorial Chapel, students will join faculty and staff for a day of service in the surrounding community. 

On Monday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., SJU’s Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support will host a carnival for Kinney Center families and donors, the SJU community and the local autism community.  Families who attend will enjoy carnival games, face painting, 9-hole miniature golf, and carnival goodies that include funnel cake, cotton candy and popcorn.  Location:  St. Mary’s Field on the University’s James J. Maguire ‘58 Campus (Rain location:  O’Pake Recreation Center’s Multi-Purpose Room, on the Maguire Campus).

Later that day, at 3:30 p.m., Fr. Gillespie and Senior Vice President John Smithson will serve as player-coaches at a softball game and barbecue for the University Community on the softball field on SJU’s Maguire Campus.

On Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m., a Celebratory Symposium, “Sisters in the City of Brotherly Love:  A Celebration of the Contributions of Roman Catholic Women Religious in Philadelphia,” will take place in the Cardinal Foley Center on the Maguire Campus.

For more details and a complete list of Inaugural Week events, visit

Contact Information

Harriet K. Goodheart, Assistant Vice President for University Communications, 610-660-1532,


Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University advances the professional and personal ambitions of men and women by providing a demanding, yet supportive, educational experience. One of only 152 schools with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and AACSB business school accreditation, Saint Joseph's is home to 4,650 traditional undergraduate day students, 700 College of Professional and Liberal Studies adult undergraduates, and 3,600 graduate and doctoral students. Steeped in the 450-year Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, Saint Joseph's was named to the 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for General Community Service. The University strives to be recognized as the preeminent Catholic comprehensive university in the Northeast.

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