The Regis University Board of Trustees is pleased to announce Father John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J., as the 24th president of Regis University. He will begin his term on June 1, 2012, the retirement date announced by current president, Father Michael J. Sheeran, S.J.
“As a Jesuit priest in service of the Church, my apostolic work in Catholic higher education has been as a student, a professor, an administrator and a trustee,” Father Fitzgibbons said. “I believe this variety of perspectives has provided me with a deep understanding and informed appreciation for the work of our universities.”
Father Fitzgibbons began his professional career in the summer of 1979 serving as an English instructor at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea. From 1980 to 1982, he was an instructor of English and religion at Marquette University High School, Milwaukee, Wis. He spent two years as the assistant director of the Jesuit Collegiate Program at Loyola University Chicago (1990-1992), and followed that with three years (1993-1996) as assistant professor of English at Marquette University.
From 1996 until 2001 he served as assistant professor of English and director of the Jesuit Humanities Program at Creighton University, Omaha, Neb. The next five years, (2001-2006) were spent as director of novices for the Wisconsin, Missouri and Upper Canada (English speaking) Provinces of the Society of Jesus. During that same period (2002-2005), he served as an adjunct professor of English at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn., and superior of the Jesuit Novitiate Community in St. Paul.
He spent three years at the University of San Francisco (2006-2009) serving in three executive positions in addition to being a member of the Board of Trustees, and served on other boards, including the Gonzaga University Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors for Nativity Jesuit Middle School, in Milwaukee.
Father Fitzgibbons earned a Ph.D. in English from Loyola University Chicago, an S.T.M. in theology from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, a Master of Divinity from the Weston School of Theology, a Master of Arts in English from the University of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and English from Saint Louis University. His doctoral dissertation was titled “Theodore Parker’s Man-Making Strategies: A Study of His Professional Ministry in Selected Sermons.”
He was elected a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit honor society, and the Archbishop John R. Roach Award for his work on the Archdiocesan Commission on Women, Archdiocese of Saint Paul, Minn. In 2008, Father Fitzgibbons was appointed a delegate and elector at the Jesuits’ 35th General Congregation in Rome, Italy.
Among his publications, presentations and research topics are: A Handbook for Lay Associates of Jesuit Apostolates. Co-authored with Ms. Stephanie J. Russell, vice president for mission and ministry, Marquette University (projected publication date: spring, 2012); and “Collaborative Leadership in Jesuit Higher Education: A Mission in Relationship,” a presentation for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) Seminar on Leadership — presented with Ms. Stephanie J. Russell, Loyola University Chicago, 2009 and 2010.