The Catholic University of America

June 9, 2009

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron Elected Chairman of Catholic University's Board of Trustees

Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron

The Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, announced today that the university's Board of Trustees has elected the Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit and alumnus of CUA, as chairman of the board. The election took place, according to university bylaws, earlier today at the board's final meeting of the year.

"I have enjoyed my service on the Board of Trustees and look forward to the opportunity to lead my fellow members in the years ahead," remarked Archbishop Vigneron following the board meeting. "I owe a great debt to Catholic University. It is here where I studied philosophy 20 years ago, an intellectual discipline and experience that has helped me be the bishop I am today." The archbishop added that, "Catholic University has tremendous potential to serve the Church. In my new capacity, I will do everything I can to advance the school's mission to my brother bishops, to fellow Catholics and beyond."

A native of Detroit, Archbishop Vigneron attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and was ordained to the priesthood in 1975. He went on to study at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, earning a licentiate in sacred theology (S.T.L.) in 1977. Archbishop Vigneron began graduate studies in philosophy at The Catholic University of America, receiving a master's degree in 1983 and a doctorate in 1987. He returned to his seminary alma mater to teach and was appointed its rector/president in 1994, a position he held until 2003.

Archbishop Vigneron was appointed a prelate of honor by Pope John Paul II with the title "monsignor" in 1994 and was ordained auxiliary bishop of Detroit in 1996. In 2003, Pope John Paul II named him co-adjutor bishop of Oakland, Calif., where, later that same year, he assumed full pastoral responsibilities as bishop of Oakland. He has served as a member of Catholic University's Board of Trustees since 2003.

"I am delighted that Archbishop Vigneron has accepted his election as chairman of the university's Board of Trustees," observed Father O'Connell. "He has been an outstanding and loyal trustee over the years, with a tremendous interest in teaching, scholarly research and the whole academic life of The Catholic University of America, particularly its Catholic identity and mission. I have been impressed by his comments and questions at board meetings and by his profound knowledge of Catholic higher education. He will be a great advocate for CUA as the national university of the Catholic Church in our country. I look forward to working closely with him."

Father O'Connell expressed his gratitude to all the members of the Board of Trustees for their participation in today's meeting and, in particular, to Bishop William E. Lori, Bishop of Bridgeport and an alumnus of CUA, who has served as Catholic University's board chairman for the past eight years. "Bishop Lori has been truly extraordinary in his service to The Catholic University of America," Father O'Connell remarked. "He has been a model of commitment to a university and of leadership of its governing board."