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Law Dean Vincent Rougeau Selected as Next President of Holy Cross

Vincent Rougeau, dean of the Boston College Law School, accepted an offer to serve as the 33rd president of the College of the Holy Cross, according to a Holy Cross press release.

“Although I am taking on a new role at a new institution, I am not going very far away and I will be leading a college that shares the same Jesuit heritage that guides and animates us at BC Law: formative education of the whole person, a commitment to ethical and personal discernment, and passion for service to others, particularly those least fortunate,” Rougeau said in a BC release

Rougeau, who also serves as the inaugural director of BC’s Forum on Racial Justice in America, will officially assume the role on July 1. 

Rougeau, who was named dean of BC Law in July of 2011, said he is proud to have served as the leader of the community for the past decade.

“This is one of the nation’s outstanding law schools, and that is obvious based on many objective measures⁠—the impressive faculty, the outstanding students, the extraordinary staff, and the accomplished alumni,” Rougeau said in the BC release. “But what has always been distinctive about BC Law is the community. Over years and generations, BC Law has built a community of people who care deeply for one another and who are committed to the highest standards of professionalism and academic excellence.”

Rougeau was the first Black dean of BC Law, and according to the Holy Cross release, will be the first Black president of Holy Cross. 

Prior to his time at BC, Rougeau was an associate dean for academic affairs and a tenured professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School. 

“Vince Rougeau has been a well-liked and respected leader of BC Law as well as a much-appreciated member of the Boston College community for the past decade,” University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., said in the BC release. “I wish him the very best in his new role as president of the College of the Holy Cross.”

Rougeau said in an interview with The Heights in October that one of his central objectives with the Forum on Racial Justice in America was to bring Black students together on campus and enable students of color to feel more at home on BC’s campus.

“I hope for students of color that this will send the signal to them that they matter and their views and needs are an important part of how we think about community here,” Rougeau said. 

Rougeau, who graduated from Harvard Law School in 1988, was also recently named president of the Association of American Law Schools. 

In a statement to The Heights, Rougeau expressed his excitement for his new role and his gratitude for the BC community during his time at BC Law.

“I am honored and humbled to be assuming the presidency of the College of the Holy Cross,” he wrote.  “It has been my privilege to serve for ten years as dean at BC Law and I want to thank everyone in the Boston College community for their kindness and support over the years.”

Rougeau also said that leaving BC will be difficult for him.

“BC will always be important to me and to my family, and I am pleased that I won’t be going too far away,” he wrote. “I definitely plan to remain in touch with my friends and colleagues here, and I hope they will do the same.”

According to Rougeau, BC Law has done transformative work to make its community more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, the release said.

“This was not without its challenges, but we approached it with the humility and honesty required to ensure that all are embraced and welcomed at BC Law,” Rougeau said. “Although our work is not yet complete, I take great pride in the example of institutional engagement with issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion that we have set for the legal academy and the legal profession.”   

Featured Image by Maddie Haddix / Heights Senior Staff

February 10, 2021