Spring Hill College Names Rev. Richard Salmi, S.J., 38th President

Fri, 09/26/2008 (All day)

MOBILE – The Spring Hill College Board of Trustees has announced the election of Rev. Richard P. Salmi, S.J., 57, as the 38th president of Spring Hill College. Salmi begins his term on June 1, 2009. The Rev. Gregory F. Lucey, S.J., announced that date for his retirement after 12 years as the college’s president.

Salmi is currently serving as vice president for student affairs at Loyola University Chicago, a position he has held since 2002. As vice president at Loyola, Salmi directs a student affairs division that manages numerous areas in student life including student activities, residence life, new student orientation, campus recreation, student leadership development and intercollegiate athletics. The division provides services for more than 15,000 students. During his term, the university has built or renovated several residence halls and increased the number of resident students from 2,200 to 4,100.

Chairman of the Spring Hill College Board of Trustees, Jack Schuessler, said, “We are delighted to have Fr. Salmi accept the presidency of Spring Hill College. The search committee conducted a careful and extensive search for the right man to continue the wonderful legacy that Fr. Greg Lucey strengthened and nurtured for the past 11-plus years. As we move ahead we know the college is in good and capable hands.”

“I am very pleased that Fr. Salmi will be the next Spring Hill president,” said Fr. Lucey. “I am extremely confident that he will pick up where I am leaving off.”

Prior to serving as vice president at Loyola, Salmi was vice president for student affairs at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio from 1994-2002. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at LeMoyne College, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago and is a founding member and director of the Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he holds a B.S. in communications from Ohio University, M.A. in speech communications from Bowling Green State University, Masters of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in higher education lhughesistration from Boston College. He entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1973.

Salmi also served as campus minister and coordinator of volunteer programs and community service while at John Carroll and worked as a health care provider, social worker and priest for AIDS patients in Kampala Uganda in 1990-1991.

As president, Salmi will be directing progress on a number of strategic goals for the college including ensuring financial stability, further developing the enrollment and retention initiatives and the campus culture of quality learning, living, leadership development, and formation of students for which the college is known. 

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Spring Hill College is the oldest college in Alabama and the third oldest Jesuit college in the United States. The college is ranked 13th among the 120 Southern colleges and universities granting master’s degrees, according to the 2008 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.” The college is also ranked 9th among only 15 schools listed in the South’s “Great Schools, Great Values” category, campuses that offer quality academic programs, affordable tuition and significant financial aid.

Spring Hill’s traditional undergraduate enrollment has grown from approximately 850 undergraduate students in 1997 to 1,200 today.  Total enrollment of undergraduate, graduate, and non-traditional students is now approximately 1,500.