A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Fr. Michael Graham, SJ holds degrees from Cornell College, the University of Michigan and the Weston School of Theology (now, the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry). He entered the Jesuits in 1978 and was ordained in 1988.
Fr. Graham was Xavier University's President from January 1, 2001 to June 30, 2021. Fr. Graham’s passion for the specifically Jesuit mission of Xavier animated his presidency in multiple ways. He collaborated with a variety of professionals in the area of Jesuit Mission and Identity to shape and support work to share Xavier’s Jesuit ethos and heart with faculty, staff and students in such a way that its approach to that work is generally regarded as best-in-class. He helped found a campus center for dialogue that became a crucial hub for inter-religious conversation in the Cincinnati region, and whose work engaged a wide variety of constituencies and topics in areas of justice, sustainability, immigration and more. He likewise championed diversity, inclusion and equity efforts on and off the campus and helped recruit transformative leadership to embed that work firmly within the fabric of the University.
In his retirement, Fr. Graham looks forward to expanded opportunities for pastoral ministry, especially through various retreats at the Midwest Jesuit Province network of retreat houses, and to assisting Jesuit university trustees and senior executives understand better the Jesuit mission and identity of their schools so as to lead them more effectively and in fidelity to their origins. And, of course, he’ll keep his eyes and ears open for whatever ideas for his future his Provincial Superior may suggest.