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Le Moyne President Charles J. Beirne, S.J. Asked to Help Establish First Jesuit University in Africa

<p>SYRACUSE, N.Y. (For Immediate Release) … Le Moyne College today announced that Charles J. Beirne, S.J., president of the College since June 2000, has been asked by the Superior General of the Order of the Jesuits to help the Jesuits of Africa in the planning and implementation of the first Jesuit university on the continent. As a result, he will step down as president following next month’s commencement ceremonies, but will continue to assist Le Moyne in any way the College sees fit. <br /> <br /> Father Beirne, the 11th president in Le Moyne’s 60-year history, will be replaced on an interim basis by Dr. John Smarrelli, Jr., provost and vice president for academic affairs at Le Moyne. A national search will take place to select the next president.<br /> <br /> Earlier today, the following message was sent by Father Beirne to all faculty, administrators, staff, current students and parents, and alumni, as well as the College’s Board of Trustees, Board of Regents, and Alumni Association Board:<br /> <br /> Seldom does a Jesuit receive an assignment directly from the Superior General of the Order. Seventeen years ago I received a request from Fr. Kolvenbach to leave Santa Clara where I served as academic vice president and take the same position at the Jesuit university, Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), in San Salvador. I replaced Fr. Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J., one of the Jesuits assassinated in 1989. As a result of that change I spent the decade of the 1990’s working in both El Salvador and Guatemala. <br /> <br /> Father Kolvenbach has now asked me to consider being available to serve as a consultant for the Jesuits of Africa who are developing their dream for the first Jesuit university in Africa. I have agreed to his request. <br /> <br /> Therefore I will complete my duties as President of Le Moyne at commencement, May 20, 2007, and will begin a sabbatical in preparation for my new international challenge. The Board has chosen my dear friend and colleague, Dr. John Smarrelli, Jr., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, to serve as interim president until a search process can be completed to choose my successor. <br /> <br /> I want to thank the Le Moyne Board of Trustees, the Society of Jesus and the whole Le Moyne and Syracuse communities for helping me to be president of the college for these past seven years. It has been a grand experience for me. In my new challenge I will gladly continue to help Le Moyne in any way the College sees fit. <br /> <br /> <br /> Under his leadership, Le Moyne has instituted a comprehensive five-year strategic plan, adopted a new mission statement, developed a 20-year architectural master plan for the campus, and launched the largest capital campaign in College history. The $50 million campaign – Achieving New Heights – has to date resulted in pledges and donations in excess of $25 million.<br /> <br /> Currently, Father Beirne is vice chair of the Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities, and serves on the board of directors for Syracuse 20/20, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Development Association, the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. He is also president of the Rafael Landivar University Foundation. <br /> <br /> Father Beirne came to Le Moyne from Universidad Rafael Landívar in Guatemala, where he served as academic vice president and professor of education (1996-2000). His other administrative and teaching positions have included academic vice president at Universidad Centroamericana in San Salvador (1990-93); academic vice president at Santa Clara University in California (1987-90); associate dean at Georgetown University Business School (1984-87); headmaster at Regis High School in New York City (1978-83); and principal of Colegio San Ignacio in Puerto Rico (1972-77).<br /> <br /> A native of New Jersey, he holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of Chicago; bachelor's and master's degrees from Fordham University in New York City; and master's and licentiate degrees from Woodstock College in Maryland. He was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1969.</p>
posted on: 4/10/2007