The Loyola Academy Board of Trustees has appointed Rev. Gregory J. Ostdiek, SJ, to be the school's ninth president, effective July 5, 2022. "Father Greg Ostdiek truly embraces the Jesuit, Catholic mission not only through his personal lived experience, but also in his vocation as a Jesuit priest," notes Loyola Board Chair Ms. Nancy E. Paridy of Evanston. "He is a leader who cares deeply about the people he serves."
Father Ostdiek will succeed Rev. Patrick E. McGrath, SJ, who has been Loyola's eighth president for the past 12 years and who will become the next pastor of Old St. Patrick's Church in Chicago, starting Summer 2022.
"Loyola Academy has thrived under the leadership of Father McGrath," states Board Chair Ms. Paridy. "Father McGrath has worked diligently to strengthen the Catholic and Jesuit identity of the school and enhanced the formation of the students, faculty and parents in our faith tradition."
In addition, during his 12-year tenure, Father McGrath led the Academy's $75 million Second Century Campaign, which is the largest and most successful capital campaign in the school’s history and which is expected to exceed its goal by the end of the school year when Father McGrath departs. Large-scale capital enhancements include the John D. Norcross '54 Aquatic Center and the Mary and L. Robert '62 Pasquesi Piazza, which opened in 2019, and Loyola's new Center for the Performing Arts, home of the Leemputte Family Theater, which will open in August 2022. Under his leadership, $51.9 million in tuition assistance has been awarded to 6,759 Loyola students, and he has conferred 6,463 diplomas to graduating seniors.
Loyola's next president is a native of Dayton, Ohio, where he graduated from Carroll High School in 1988. He holds B.A. degrees from the University of Dayton in mechanical engineering and English (1993), M.A. degrees in English from Pennsylvania State University (2004) and philosophy from Fordham University (2014), an M. Div. in theology and Th. M. in scripture from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (2019). Most recently, he completed an Ed.M. in educational policy and management at Harvard Graduate School of Education (2019) and an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School of Government (2021).
Father Ostdiek joined the Jesuits in 2008, teaching physics, coaching athletics, serving in campus ministry and moderating student clubs at several Jesuit schools, including Loyola Academy (2014–16). He was ordained in 2019. He has served as a parish priest and a prison minister. Currently, he serves as an administrator at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis and on the Boards of Loyola Academy and St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.
Prior to joining the Jesuits, Father Ostdiek served in the United States Navy for 12 years (1996–2008), where he served on a variety of ships, including as a navigation instructor; a reactor training assistant on the USS John C. Stennis, responsible for the training of a 450-person department on the nuclear power plant; an executive officer and navigator on the USS Dextrous, second in command overseeing an 80-person crew, which was deployed twice in the Arabian Gulf. "Through this experience, he came to learn what makes for effective leadership," explains Ms. Paridy, "and he sees the keys to Christian leadership as leading from love, getting people on board and having them aligned with a shared mission."
As Loyola's next president, Father Ostdiek's key responsibilities will be leading the Jesuit, Catholic mission of Loyola Academy, sustaining key focus on its strategic vision and directing the institutional advancement program.
"I am tremendously excited to join Loyola Academy in its mission of serving Chicagoland and the world," states Father Ostdiek. "Loyola is a school with incredible students, a tremendously talented and caring faculty and staff, who show daily their dedication to the school’s mission of forming women and men for others in service to the Church and the world, and an amazing community. I am humbled and honored to be chosen to serve them in turn."
This appointment has been approved by Rev. Karl Kiser, SJ, provincial of the Midwest Jesuits, who has also made Father Ostdiek available to spend time at Loyola during the spring semester to get to know the community better. "I am thrilled to mission Father Greg Ostdiek, SJ, as Loyola Academy’s next president," says Father Kiser. "Greg brings a passion to share the Good News with young people and will lead Loyola Academy with vision and energy."
Ms. Paridy adds, "Father Greg has the unique combination of solid leadership with a firm grounding in the Jesuit mission. He is well-poised to take on this role, and I am very pleased to welcome him to this incredible community. My thanks to all who assisted in this process, especially the Search Committee for their insight and support. I am grateful to the broader Loyola community for its ongoing engagement and ask for your prayers for Father Greg as he undertakes his new leadership role in July."
Founded in 1909, Loyola Academy is the largest Jesuit high school in the United States. The school annually enrolls approximately 2,000 students, who come from all over the Chicago metropolitan area representing more than 90 different zip codes. The mission of Loyola Academy is to form women and men for meaningful lives of leadership and service in imitation of Jesus Christ through a college preparatory education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition. Loyola has a global network of nearly 28,000 alumni.