John J. Hurley, the 24th president of Canisius University, announced he will retire at the end of the upcoming academic year after serving 12 years as president. Hurley will remain in office until June 30, 2022. A search committee has been formed by the college’s Board of Trustees and a national search for Hurley’s successor is underway.
Hurley is currently the longest tenured president among Western New York colleges and universities. He joined Canisius in August 1997 as vice president for college relations and general counsel, after practicing law in Chicago and Buffalo for 16 years. In 2009, the college’s Board of Trustees selected Hurley to succeed Rev. Vincent M. Cooke, S.J. and he became the college’s first lay president in July 2010.
“The upcoming year will be my 12th as president and 25th overall at Canisius,” said Hurley. “It has truly been a labor of love for an institution that means everything to me. But, having just turned 65 and having led the college safely and successfully through the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s time to step down and move on to the next phase in my life. Everything that we have done over the past 12 years has been aimed at positioning Canisius to thrive in a disrupted higher education landscape. The stage is set for the next president to take Canisius to a whole new level of excellence.”
“John has done such an outstanding job at Canisius. His foresight and focus have positioned Canisius well for the future. His tenure is notable not only for many strategic, programmatic and student-centered accomplishments but also, importantly, for the manner in which he has led. John epitomizes the Jesuit value of men and women for and with others; service is a life priority for him.”
- Lee C. Wortham, chair of the college’s Board of Trustees for the past four years
“It is said that the perfect Jesuit graduate is a person whose life is marked by character, competence, conscience, compassion and commitment to the cause of the Gospel. John Hurley is all of that, and more. From a Jesuit's point of view, he is a revered and admired "companion in mission." John has been an indefatigable fundraiser, an eloquent ambassador and a very nearly perfect embodiment of the values that have always defined Canisius and its graduates. I know that I speak for all of the presidents of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities when I say that he is a wisdom figure to whom we always turn for sage advice and unstinting support.”
Make a Gift
Honor the service of John J. Hurley with a gift to the Hurley Family Endowed Scholarship, Canisius Fund, or another designation of your choice.