St. John’s University President Michael Hemesath announced May 21 that he will leave his position effective Aug. 1.
Hemesath, a member of the SJU class of 1981, was appointed the school’s 13th president on July 1, 2012, and served as the first layperson to be appointed to a full presidential term.
“It has been the greatest privilege and honor of my academic life to serve my alma mater and this community for the last seven years as Saint John’s first lay president,” wrote Hemesath in an announcement to the campus community. “Thank you to each of you who have helped make this experience so exceptional for me and my family.”
“In recent months, I have had several long and productive conversations with President Hemesath about the university, our future and his plans,” said Dan McKeown, chair of the SJU board of trustees. “Out of these conversations came the mutual decision for Michael to step down as president. He is planning on taking a well-deserved sabbatical in August. With that schedule, it makes sense to him and the university for him to end his term as president at that time.”
Under Hemesath’s leadership the university experienced a number of notable accomplishments including the renovation of Alcuin Library and the construction of the Dietrich Reinhart Learning Commons and The Saint John’s Bible Gallery, the expansion and renovation of SJU’s athletic facilities, the successful completion of the Forward Ever Forward capital campaign and a strategic re-envisioning of the School of Theology and Seminary.
The board of trustees will select an interim president while it determines the best course to recruit a permanent replacement.