February 10, 2021
Dear Members of the Holy Cross Community,
On behalf of the Holy Cross Board of Trustees, I am pleased to share that Vincent D. Rougeau has accepted our offer to serve as the 33rd president of the College. He will assume the role on July 1, 2021. Vince’s demonstrated leadership, commitment to the liberal arts, and deep embrace of Jesuit, Catholic higher education distinguished him from a diverse and highly qualified pool of candidates after a thorough national search process. We are excited to welcome him to Holy Cross, and look forward to his leadership in furthering our mission and building on the College’s success.
Vince is currently the Dean of the Boston College Law School and was recently named the inaugural director of the new Boston College Forum on Racial Justice in America, a meeting place for listening, dialogue, and greater understanding about race and racism in our country. Prior to his role at Boston College, Vince was a tenured professor of law at Notre Dame Law School, and served as their Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1999-2002.
Vince has written extensively on law and religions with a particular focus on Catholic social teaching and the law. His book “Christians in the American Empire: Faith and Citizenship in the New World Order” was released by Oxford University Press in 2008. His current research and writing consider the relationships among religious identity, citizenship, and membership in highly mobile and increasingly multicultural democratic societies. He serves as Senior Fellow at the Centre for Theology and Community (CTC) in London, where he researches broad-based community organizing, immigration, and citizenship in the UK as part of the Just Communities Project.
Vince writes and speaks extensively on legal education reform. He was recently named President-elect of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), and has served as a member of the Executive Committee of AALS, and on the Council of the Boston Bar Association. He has also served as chair of the AALS Deans Steering Committee.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Holy Cross community as its new president,” Vince shared with us. “I have long admired the College for its academic excellence, its talented students and accomplished alumni, its dedicated faculty and staff and its unique place as our nation's only Jesuit, Catholic liberal arts college. Our current moment in history cries out for the mission-driven education that Holy Cross provides, and I am very excited about what this community can accomplish in the years ahead.”
Vince will become the first lay and first Black president in the College’s history. Both his scholarship and his leadership demonstrate his profound dedication to our Jesuit, Catholic mission, to building a diverse and respectful community, and to educating students toward seeking justice and making a meaningful difference in our world.
Rev. Joseph M. O’Keefe, S.J.,’76, Provincial of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus, noted to us, “During our time together at Boston College, I discovered that Vincent Rougeau has a deep understanding of, and appreciation for, the Jesuit, Catholic vision of higher education. Moreover, he has the leadership skills to make that vision a reality. I am delighted to welcome Vince and his wife Robin to our Holy Cross family.”
I would like to thank the members of the Presidential Search Committee for their work. The Board and I are extremely grateful for, and appreciative of, their dedication and commitment to the search process and the College. I would also like to thank the Holy Cross community and the Board of Trustees for the thoughtful input that helped focus our search. I am also immensely grateful for the support and guidance of Fr. O’Keefe throughout the process.
I am excited for you to get to know Vince. While we are unable to introduce him to the campus community in person due to COVID restrictions, we will introduce him via a livestreamed webinar for all to watch on Thursday, February 11, at 7:00 p.m. EST. You can access the livestream on the homepage of our presidential transition website.
Vince and his wife Dr. Robin Kornegay-Rougeau, a pediatrician, have three sons. I know you will join me in welcoming them to the Holy Cross community. Additional information about Vince and the presidential search can be found on the presidential transition website.
Rick Patterson ’80
Chair of the Board of Trustees