Carroll will preside over first-ever Commencement at Mesa and deliver Lisle address before he steps down as University president
Lisle, Illinois ~ President William J. Carroll, Ph.D., who presided over a period of unprecedented growth at Benedictine University, will address graduates at two of the school’s campuses this spring.
Carroll will be the featured speaker during the 124th Commencement Convocation at the University’s Lisle, Illinois main campus on Saturday, May 9, then provide the primary address at the Mesa branch campus’s first Commencement Convocation on Saturday, May 16 in Arizona.
After more than two decades of leadership and spearheading a number of innovations, Carroll announced in January that he will step down as president in December 2015.
Carroll said he is ready to pass the torch to a new leader who will embrace Benedictine as he has, and lead the school and a new generation of students to continued success in the future.
“When I started this journey in 1995, the school was on the cusp of closing,” Carroll said. “Enrollment was down and the University was embroiled in racial tensions and open hostility.
“Today, with class sites in China, Vietnam, Arizona and throughout Illinois, we are the fastest-growing university in the country with more than 10,000 students worldwide, have a host of remarkably dedicated and compassionate faculty and staff, and the University is recognized as one of the most diverse and welcoming in the country,” he added.
During Carroll’s tenure, master’s degree programs and two doctoral programs were introduced and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast was established. He was instrumental in the establishment of the First Responder Program, which provided a free college education to public safety personnel. The program was extended to Illinois veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The University expanded into Naperville in 2006 with the opening of the Margaret and Harold Moser Center for Adult and Professional Studies. In 2004, Benedictine formed partnerships with Shenyang University of Technology and Shenyang Jianzhu University to offer Benedictine master’s degree programs in China.
New campus facilities, including the Kindlon Hall of Learning, Birck Hall of Science, Founders’ Woods apartments and the Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex have been constructed during Carroll’s presidency. The 125,000-square-foot Daniel L. Goodwin Hall of Business is scheduled to open in the fall 2015.
Benedictine’s enrollment has grown significantly during Carroll’s tenure, from fewer than 3,000 students when he arrived to more than 10,000 today. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked Benedictine University No. 1among the fastest-growing campuses in the country among private nonprofit research universities between 2002-2012.
Carroll has consistently promoted policies and values committed to inclusivity and in the Catholic and Benedictine traditions of welcoming the stranger. He was recognized for his contributions to diversity in higher education in 2014 when he was named a recipient of a Visionary Award by INSIGHT Into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education.
Carroll earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Scranton, and a master’s and doctorate in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America. Prior to Benedictine, he held several positions at Ohio Dominican College including Vice President for Academic Affairs, Acting President and Executive Vice President.
Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the eighth consecutive year in 2018. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu.