A Reflection of President Garvey’s Presidency


Image Courtesy of the Catholic University of America

By Zachary Lichter

On September 22nd, an email informed the CUA community that President John Garvey will be stepping down on June 30, 2022. 

John Garvey is the 15th President of the Catholic University of America. During his presidency, he helped refresh the Busch School of Business and the Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art. He made contributions to athletics by installing a basketball court in Centennial Village and by the Kean Fitness Center. He also made contributions to student life by having school dances on campus and holding undergraduates to the same academic standards as graduate students. He was even able to increase the retention rate from 79 to 88 percent.

“I thought it was really important to focus on undergraduate student life,” Garvey said. “I think with just focusing on dining by eating dinner in the Pryz, going to basketball games, seeing what students did in their spare time, and just living here on campus, we were able to get into the lives of what the students needed.”

During Garvey’s presidency, Catholic has received over $500 million in donations and grants. Garvey has been the most successful at fundraising in the university’s 134-year history. He said that the fundraising has been successful based on the students’ interests, the parents’ generosity, and the alumni’s support for the causes over the years. He also said that there have been numerous vice presidents of advancement during his presidency, with the office of advancement having grown from twenty-five to eighty people. Along with all the fundraising Garvey has done during his presidency, he has also supported many student organizations like the Student Government Association, created the Center for Cultural Engagement, and made investments in the Counseling Center and the Center for Academic and Career Success.

“Student Government has been very fortunate to have a strong relationship with President Garvey throughout his tenure at the university,” said SGA President and senior politics and psychology major Abby Anger. “President Garvey has always been very committed to hearing the students’ voice and taking action to improve the undergraduate experience based on feedback. This year, as Student Government Association President, I have been very fortunate to continue this relationship through monthly meetings, frequent emails, and regular meetings with his Chief of Staff.”

In his retirement notice, Garvey stated that Catholic University is “the best place for a young person to attend college.” He said that this school is the university of the Catholic Church and being in the nation’s capital draws a lot of people from other states and even other countries. He says that being President of the Catholic University has been the best job he ever had.

“Personally, I have enjoyed President Garvey’s presence in our community,” Anger said. “He can often be seen walking around campus, talking with students, attending mass at St. Vinny’s, or coming to student organization events. His dedication to building intentional relationships with students has been a joy to witness and be a part of.”

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