University of San Francisco Inaugurates 28th President

Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J. Formally Installed Nov. 1

WHAT: The trustees and leadership team of the University of San Francisco (USF) will officially swear in the Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J. as USF’s 28th president during the inauguration ceremony on November 1, 2014.

The event will include an academic procession featuring representatives of universities from around the world, as well as local, state, and national dignitaries. Among those speaking during the ceremony:

  • Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader
  • Gavin C. Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California
  • Willie Brown, Former San Francisco Mayor
  • Janet Napolitano, President, University of California (UC System)
  • Most Reverend Robert W. McElroy, Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco


WHEN: 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 1, 2014.

WHERE: The ceremony will take place in the historic St. Ignatius Church on the USF campus (650 Parker Avenue at Fulton Street).

ABOUT: Fr. Fitzgerald has worked in higher education for more than 20 years. Prior to being selected as USF’s President, he was the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fairfield University in Connecticut, where he oversaw the recruitment and retention of faculty, developed curriculum, and worked with deans to direct academic programs. Before his post at Fairfield, Fr. Fitzgerald was associate dean and senior associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University.

Fr. Fitzgerald is an accomplished scholar with a global perspective. He has two Doctorates degrees from universities in France, speaks three languages, and has taught in China and Kenya. In his first semester as president, Fr. Fitzgerald traveled to Rome to meet other university presidents to discuss Jesuit Higher Education. Then in October, he flew to Singapore and China to visit with parents and alumni, and was formally introduced to national Chinese media during a press conference in Beijing on Oct. 16.

He grew up in Los Gatos, California, after his family moved there when he was five years old. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Santa Clara University in 1980, and entered the Society of Jesus two years later. Fr. Fitzgerald was ordained to the priesthood at St. Ignatius Church on the USF campus in 1992. And inside that very church on Saturday, Nov. 1, he officially becomes the 28th president in USF’s 159-year history.