Georgetown University Chooses First Layman as President
WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 16, 01 (CWNews.com) - Georgetown
University announced on Friday that it has chosen the first
person who is not a Jesuit priest to lead the country's
oldest Catholic university.
John J. DeGioia, Georgetown's senior vice president, will
succeed Father Leo J. O'Donovan, when he retires in June
after 12 years as president. DeGioia, 44, is a 1979
graduate of the school, was a philosophy professor starting
in 1995, and became senior vice president in charge of
finances, student housing, information technology, and
other services in 1998.
Although Cardinal-designate Theodore McCarrick of
Washington expressed disappointment that a Jesuit priest
would not continue the unbroken tradition of Jesuit
leadership since 1792, the cardinal-designate issued a
statement praising DeGioia's qualifications. "He is known
and respected as a fine Catholic educator," he said.
DeGioia is the first layman to head any of the country's 28
Jesuit colleges or universities. Conservative Catholics
viewed the appointment as a blow to orthodoxy at the school.
February 18, 2001
volume 12, no. 49