Benedictine University president Charles Gregory to retire August 2023

The Benedictine University board of trustees announced today that president Charles Gregory plans to retire in August 2023.

His retirement will mark the end of a brilliant 51-year career in higher education, including 25 years at the Lisle university, four years as university president.

Gregory was named Benedictine's president on Jan. 8, 2019, the 12th president in the institution's 135-year history.

Prior to serving as president, Gregory served as Benedictine's interim president (Aug. 13, 2018-Jan. 8, 2019), as chief executive officer of the university's Mesa, Arizona campus (July 2016-May 2018) and as executive vice president of Benedictine's Lisle campus (April 1, 1997-July 2016) where he provided oversight and guidance in the areas of enrollment, retention, financial aid, student life, campus safety, campus services and advancement.

"Frankly, it's hard to imagine Benedictine without Gregory," said board chairman Daniel Rigby. "The list of his accomplishments is long and impressive, but what will be most missed is his positive attitude, unbridled optimism, and day-in, day-out passion to better the lives of every student, faculty member and university associate. The board of trustees looks forward to working with President Gregory over the next 16 months to not only continue his skilled leadership but also build on the university's strategic direction."

While the list of Gregory's accomplishments over these past four years is lengthy, some of his proudest moments for the university include guiding the university toward a positive trajectory of enrollment and increasing the university's presence and reputation in the communities they serve.

Gregory saw the need to remain mission-driven during a time when higher education, especially for private liberal arts institutions, was challenging. To that end, he created a new Center for Benedictine Values. Gregory was committed to lead with the Benedictine Hallmarks to help prepare students to lead lives of meaning and purpose as concerned citizens who care for their community and welcome people of diverse faiths and cultures.

Gregory was instrumental in the decision to expand the university's presence in the southwest in 2012. His passion as president was to continue to provide students in the southwest region of the United States with an opportunity for hope to become reality with the continued growth of the Mesa, Arizona campus.

Leading during an unprecedented pandemic was challenging for all and especially challenging for higher education. While colleges and universities across the country pivoted to a virtual learning and working environment, Gregory led with the health and safety of the Benedictine community as his guiding light.

"After some careful reflection, I have decided to retire," Gregory said. "Over these past years, working collaboratively with the board of trustees, the senior leadership team, faculty and staff, we have developed a strategic direction for continued growth and a path to a bright future for Benedictine University."

"I love Benedictine University with all my heart, and I thank everyone in Lisle and Mesa for giving me the opportunity to play a part in making Benedictine the welcoming, challenging, and Catholic school that it is now and will be in the future. It has been a privilege and honor to serve this great university."

According to Rigby, the board pledges to initiate a national search to retain a new university president who will continue its mission and provide an educational experience grounded in Benedictine values, helping students lead lives of meaning and purpose as concerned citizens who care for their community, welcome people of diverse faiths and cultures, and promote the common good.

About Benedictine University

Benedictine University is 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 nearly 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the ninth consecutive year in 2019. Benedictine University was also named the second-safest campus in the country and safest campus in Illinois by in 2019. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For more information about the university, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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