CINCINNATI — The longest-serving president of Xavier University in Ohio announced his retirement Monday.
Rev. Michael J. Graham told university faculty, staff and students he was stepping down next year during Spring Convocation.
Graham, 66, became the president of the Jesuit university in 2001 and his tenure surpassed that of his predecessor, Paul O’Connor, who served for 17 years.
“Why now, 2021? Here’s why,” Graham told the university community. “I will step down in 2021 because it is in the best interest of Xavier University for me to do so. And, because the University has never been stronger than it is now, it has therefore never been better prepared to attract a visionary and capable leader.”
Under his leadership, enrollment at the university increased slightly and new educational offerings were implemented.
In 2001, about 6,600 students were enrolled at Xavier, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Last year, the school had an estimated 7,000 students enrolled.
Graham’s final day with the university will be June 30, 2021.