He’s Made History As The First Black President Of The College Of The Holy Cross In Its Nearly 180 Year History


October 26, 2021

He’s also the first non-ordained member of the Catholic Church to preside over the institution!

Vincent D. Rougeau makes history as the first Black president of the College of the Holy Cross in its nearly 180-year history, The Grio reports. Rougeau started as a law professor, serving as associate dean for academic affairs at Notre Dame before becoming dean of the Boston College Law School. This past July, he was named president of the College of the Holy Cross, making history as the first Black American to hold the title in the school’s history.

“We are thrilled to welcome Vincent to the Holy Cross community and look forward to his leadership in building on the College’s success of the past decade. Vincent brings the strategic vision, deep experience as a faculty member and administrator, and commitment to liberal arts education that will allow him to lead Holy Cross in meeting the many challenges facing higher education today,” Board of Trustees Chair Richard H. Patterson said in an announcement about Rougeau’s appointment. “Both his scholarship and his leadership demonstrate his profound dedication to Catholic school teaching and to educating students toward seeking justice and making a meaningful difference in our world.”


The college held an inaugural ceremony in his honor this past weekend as students, and fellow dignitaries cheered Rougeau on. The induction is also historic as he becomes the first non-ordained member of the Catholic Church to preside over the Jesuit institution. 

“Through a dynamic expression of today’s Jesuit mission, we will lead Holy Cross to realize its full potential as one of the finest liberal arts institutions in the world…At Holy Cross, we accept that our world is knotty and imperfect. We believe that the best preparation for the challenges of the 21st century is a broad liberal education rooted in discovery and amplified by our Catholic intellectual traditions,” Rougeau told inauguration attendees. 

Patterson said Holy Cross is fortunate to have someone with the “skill, talent and moral compass” of Rougeau leading the institution into the future. 


“With Vince Rougeau, we have a leader whose intimate knowledge of higher education, whose faith and commitment to Catholic school teaching…whose ability to communicate effectively to diverse audiences…and whose perspectives on today’s complex global issues will serve us very, very well,” said Patterson. 

As the new president during a critical time in history, Rougeau says he is excited to help shape the institution in collaboration with the Holy Cross community for generations to come. 

“I am thrilled to be joining the Holy Cross community as its new president. I have long admired the College for its academic excellence, its talented students and accomplished alumni, its dedicated faculty and staff, and its unique place as our nation’s only Jesuit, Catholic liberal arts college. Our current moment in history cries out for the mission-driven education that Holy Cross provides, and I am very excited about what this community can accomplish in the years ahead,” he said. 


Congratulations, President Rougeau! Because of you, we can!

Photo Courtesy of College of the Holy Cross

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join the BOTWC newsletter for the latest in news & culture!

By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Newsletter Signup
Skip to content