St. Vincent College has announced that Jim Towey will be stepping down as the institution´s president at the conclusion of the 2009/10 academic year, following 4 years of service. The former White House official highlighted the college's "Catholic witness" as a reason for the institution's strong growth under his tenure.
“I came to Saint Vincent to make a difference, and by the grace of God and the good work of so many people, I have," Towey said, in a recent press release from the Catholic college.
In the just over three years since he became St. Vincent's president, his accomplishments have been numerous. Under his direction, the college reports that it has experienced "unprecedented success in fundraising," having secured more than $35 million in new pledge commitments.
On-campus initiatives brought about during his tenure include an increase in service learning opportunities and the expansion of study abroad programs to triple the number of students participating.
Towey has also taken an active hand in promoting what he calls "faith in action" by going on the annual service-learning trip to Calcutta, India. The trip involves dozens of students volunteering in homes founded by Mother Teresa. Other major initiatives brought about during his administration were the quadrupling of the Campus Ministry budget, initiation of Eucharistic adoration on campus and renovation of the College chapel to add 100 seats by this coming January.
Towey´s actions haven´t only been noticed on campus. He has also attracted national media exposure to St. Vincent with appearances on national news shows such as CBS 60 Minutes, ABC Good Morning America, and NBC Nightly News, among others. He drew a great national attention to the College by hosting President George W. Bush as commencement speaker in 2007 and with an international conference he convened to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Mother Teresa´s death.
All of these accomplishments have increased interest in the College and stimulated enrollment to never before seen levels at St. Vincent.
“The campus has never looked so beautiful, our Catholic witness continues to attract students in record numbers, and there is a strong leadership team in place to build on the momentum of recent years,” Towey commented as he looked ahead.
Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, OSB also offered his assessment of President Towey's tenure, saying, "There have been many great accomplishments and positive developments during his time at Saint Vincent, including the deepening of the College community’s commitment to our mission. He also has succeeded in moving the College from being a well-respected regional college to a nationally-recognized college of excellence. Thanks in no small part to his leadership, Saint Vincent has the faculty and staff to carry this momentum forward.”
Prior to his service at Saint Vincent, Mr. Towey served at the White House as director of the Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives, as legal counsel to Mother Teresa and as a volunteer in her missions.
In a video posted on the school's website, Towey said that he intends to serve as St. Vincent's president until the end of this academic year. He added, “I have no plans for my future in terms of what I'll be doing, but I'm certain that the good Lord who brought me to St. Vincent will certainly care for my wife, my five children and me.”