Professor John Garvey, currently the Dean of the Law School at Boston College, was introduced to the Catholic University community this morning as the 15th President of CUA. More than a hundred faculty, staff and students filled a large room to welcome Garvey who was introduced by his predecessor, Bishop-elect David M.O'Connell and Archbishop Alan Vingeron, chairman of the CUA Board.
Archbishop Vigneron called Garvey "an accomplished jurist, scholar and teacher" and said that of all the candidates, he appeared to the Board as the one most able to carry forth the university's mission of uniting faith and reason. Vingeron also addressed the issue of why the selection committee had not chosen a cleric. "Another synonym for cleric is churchman," Vigneron said at press conference before the meeting with the CUA community. "While Professor Garvey is not a churchman, he is a man of the Church."
In his remarks, Garvey said that he embraced the distinctive mission of Catholic higher education, noting that his five children have between them 92 years of Catholic education. He noted that unlike the many great universities who had begun under the auspicies of the Protestant churches but which had become increasingly secularized through the years, he shared the vision enunciated by Pope John Paul II in his encycle Ex Corde Ecclesiae, for a "different future" for Catholic higher education. He said that catholic universities have a "distinctive intellectual contribution" to make to academic life and offered that as a lawyer, he looked forward to working in the nation's capital. "As a lawyer, I have a vocational interest in political life."
Garvey also noted that more attention must be paid to the changing face of catholicism in the United States. Most Catholic colleges and universities were built by immigrants from Europe but the Church of today is increasingly Latino and he hoped CUA would help prepare the Church in the U.S. to meet the needs of its newer members