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Leahy To Step Down in Summer 2026 After Longest University-President Tenure in BC History

University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., is leaving the Heights in the summer of 2026, ending the longest tenure of any University president in Boston College history.

“For the next two years, I intend to keep working as always on advancing BC,” Leahy said in an email sent out to current students, parents, and faculty on Friday, June 7.

Leahy became the 25th University president of BC in 1996, replacing Rev. J. Donald Monan, S.J.

BC has not yet appointed a new president. In the fall, the Executive Committee of BC’s Board of Trustees will begin the search for Leahy’s replacement—likely another Jesuit, the email stated.

“To fulfill our responsibilities as trustees, the Executive Committee believes that we need to do all we can to identify, recruit, and name a qualified Jesuit as BC’s next president, one who will advance the University’s distinctive mission and heritage,” Board of Trustees Chair John Fish said in the email.

Fish said the Executive Committee will consult with a number of constituent groups throughout the search, including trustee associates, faculty, staff, students, alumni, Jesuits at BC, the USA East Jesuit provincial, and the assistant to the Superior General of the Society of Jesus for North America.      

Leahy joined the Society of Jesus in 1967 before earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1972 and a master’s degree in U.S. history in 1975, both from St. Louis University. He then earned degrees in theology and historical theology from The Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University and was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1978. In 1986, he graduated with a Ph.D in U.S. history from Stanford University.

Prior to his tenure as University president of BC, he served as a faculty member and executive vice president at Marquette University.

“Fr. Leahy’s presidency has been transformational for Boston College,” Fish said. “We look forward to his continued leadership during the next two years as we embark on the search for his successor.”

June 7, 2024

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