University President William P. Leahy, S.J., to step down in summer 2026

Board of Trustees Executive Committee to lead search beginning in September 2024

University President William P. Leahy, S.J., announced today that he will step down as president of Boston College in the summer of 2026, and that the search for his successor will begin this fall, led by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Fr. Leahy, the longest-serving president in University history, made the announcement at the June 7 board meeting, stating that he believed it was the appropriate time for the transition given Boston College’s strong academic and financial condition, veteran senior leadership, institutional momentum, and the successful launch and progress of the Soaring Higher fundraising campaign.

University President William P. Leahy, S.J.

University President William P. Leahy, S.J.

“I am finishing my 28th year as president of Boston College, and I have been thinking a great deal about the University’s future, particularly the transition to a new president,” said Fr. Leahy. “Today, I want to inform all of you that I have decided to step down as president in summer of 2026, and the search for my successor will begin in fall 2024. For the next two years, I intend to keep working as always on advancing Ҵý, especially through our fundraising campaign, Soaring Higher.”

Board of Trustees Chair John Fish said that he and the Executive Committee of the board fully support Fr. Leahy’s decision, and that the University intends to maintain its institutional stability, continuity, and momentum experienced under his leadership.

“The Executive Committee is well positioned to lead the search on behalf of the Board of Trustees,” said Fish. “They come from varied backgrounds, have extensive board experience, and as committee chairs especially know and appreciate the views of their committee members.”

Fish said that while the Executive Committee will serve as the presidential search committee, the entire board will play a critical role in selecting the next president of Boston College, and that the search process will begin with board consultation at their next meeting in September. Following the meeting, the Executive Committee will consult with important constituent groups, including trustee associates, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The consultation will also include Jesuits at Boston College, the USA East Jesuit provincial, and the assistant to the Superior General of the Society of Jesus for North America.     

“To fulfill our responsibilities as trustees, the Executive Committee believes that we need to do all we can to identify, recruit, and name a qualified Jesuit as Ҵý’s next president, one who will advance the University’s distinctive mission and heritage,” said Fish.

Fish said the Executive Committee anticipates having candidates identified and interviews conducted in early 2025, and that it hopes to present its recommendation to the Board of Trustees for approval at its March meeting. 

“Fr. Leahy’s presidency has been transformational for Boston College,” said Fish. “We look forward to his continued leadership during the next two years as we embark on the search for his successor.”