September 22, 2021

Dear Catholic University Community,

President John Garvey announced today that he will end his service as President of The Catholic University of America at the end of this academic year. The Board of Trustees would like to extend its gratitude to President Garvey for his leadership and dedicated service to this University over the last decade. 

President Garvey’s clear vision for leading Catholic University forward was grounded in the Church’s vision for Catholic higher education as expressed in Ex Corde Ecclesiae and Veritatis Gaudium. He hired faculty and staff who embrace this vision, ensuring the advancement of the Catholic intellectual life on this campus for generations. He also was instrumental in the transformation of the Board of Trustees that expanded lay participation and leadership, which has led to a stronger and increasingly diverse board.

During his tenure, the University has secured a record $500 million in funding to support initiatives such as new schools, institutes, research, and expanded scholarships, and increased the University’s total assets to nearly $1 billion. He has endowed the Busch School of Business and the Conway School of Nursing, and launched the most ambitious fundraising effort in this institution’s history. He has expanded outreach to first-generation students, and led the effort to establish new and accessible University locations in Alexandria, Va., and Tucson, Az. 

Putting the student experience first, he has led an unprecedented revitalization of the University campus, including the construction of the Monroe Street Market mixed-use development, building renovations and new construction, and the implementation of environmentally sustainable practices that have made Catholic University a national leader for campus sustainability. Because of his emphasis on the value of an in-person experience, Catholic University offered much more of an on-campus presence than other D.C.-area schools during the first year of the pandemic — and all with an exemplary safety record.

We must now turn to the transition process for the next President, whom we intend to have in place by July 1, 2022. As the chairman of the Board of Trustees, I will lead a search committee composed of members representing all the stakeholder groups of our community. We hired the search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to lead the process. We will be seeking the input of the entire University community as the process gets underway. More information will be shared on the University website.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I thank President Garvey again for his leadership and for leading Catholic University forward as a Catholic global research university. 


Victor P. Smith, Esq.
Chairman, Catholic University Board of Trustees
J.D. 1996

Read More about the Presidential Transition