Investiture ceremony held for Dr. Joseph J. Foy, 13th president of Benedictine University

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Benedictine University President Dr. Joseph J. Foy was installed as the school’s 13th president at an investiture ceremony on Friday, March 1.

Students and faculty were on hand for the event, titled “Legacy & Leadership, Where Past Meets Promise.

“We come together as one Benedictine community in unity to recognize President Foy’s leadership and the genuine sense of hope he brings to our university, as we together look to the future,” said Professor of Political Science Dr. Phil Hardy, as he welcomed all to the event.

Foy noted for “Integrity, intelligence, imagination”

Following an invocation, greetings from the Diocese of Joliet, and a welcome video from many around campus, his longtime friend and colleague Andrea J. Lee, Chaplain of the University of Notre Dame, took the stage, giving Foy a glowing introduction.

“What a privilege to introduce a wonderful colleague, a man I respect, admire, and whose friendship I cherish,” said Lee. “Your president is a strong and loving father and husband, and those qualities will make him an equally superb president. Integrity, intelligence, imagination, innovation and insight define and describe him.”

Celebration about more than just one person, said Foy

During the official installment, Foy was presented with the symbols of office: the university charter, university seal, Benedictine hallmarks, and the Presidential Medallion.

Once it was his turn to speak, Dr. Foy stressed that the day’s ceremony was about more than just one person.

“I am simply an individual who has been offered the privilege to serve at this important nexus of Benedictine’s history, an inflection point in which the legacy of excellence that has defined this community since its founding in 1887 converges with the promises of a future that we get to write together,” said Foy.

“What we honor here today is not a person or an office. It is the work of innovative and inspirational staff and faculty who have helped to mentor, educate and empower tens of thousands of graduates in the United States and nearly 3,000 graduates from our programs in China and Vietnam. Graduates who go on to lead with purpose in their fields and in their communities,” Foy said.

He noted that it was the work they went on to accomplish that was the true tribute to all the university offers.

“I see a university that is deeply immersed in the work of the world, but engaging that work with values, humanity and compassion,” said Foy. “I see a university in which we embrace a rich, diverse interfaith community not in spite of our Catholic heritage and mission, but because of it.”

A background of academic leadership

Foy was chosen as the university’s new president last year after a nationwide search. He has a long history of academic leadership, having last served as Interim President and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

His other past roles include Chair of the Department of Political Science for the University of Wisconsin Colleges, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Wisconsin Colleges, and Dean of the Faculty for Marian University, among others.

His term as Benedictine president began July 24, 2023.

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