Vice President for Mission and Ministry Fr. Philip Boroughs, S.J., will take up the presidency of the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts starting January 2012.

University President John J. DeGioia made the announcement in an email broadcast on Monday.

“It is with great appreciation for his dedication to Georgetown that I write to inform you that earlier today the Trustees of the College of the Holy Cross named [Fr. Boroughs, S.J.,] to be its 32nd president, effective January 2012,” he said in the email. “I am sincerely grateful for the many ways that Fr. Boroughs has supported the university and partnered with me in carrying out our mission in the Catholic and Jesuit tradition.”

Boroughs, who has served at Georgetown since 2003, visited Holy Cross last week meeting with members of the college community, according to a letter sent to members of the Holy Cross’s presidential search committee earlier this week.

The search process began when Fr. Michael C. McFarland, S.J., announced in February that he would step down after 11 years as president of Holy Cross after previously disclosing his intentions to step down to the Board of Trustees. The Board and McFarland had been working out the details for the last year for the presidential transfer of power.

Boroughs said that he got to know the Holy Cross community during the three years that he has served on their Board of Trustees.

“Hence, it was natural that they would invite me to apply when Fr. McFarland announced that he was going to step down,” he said.

Boroughs first formally expressed his interest in the position in a letter to the chairman of the Board of Trustees last June.

According to a letter sent to members of the search committee in April, the university prescreened several candidates with the help of a professional search firm and conducted interviews with a small number of likely candidates.

“It was important for the search committee to start with the idea that we would respect the agreement between the trustees of the College and the Jesuit community to seek out a leader from the Jesuit order,” the letter added.

Fr. Boroughs was the only candidate who visited campus, according to Cristal Steuer, a spokeswoman for Holy Cross.

“While excited about this new assignment, I am sad to leave so many friends here at Georgetown who have made my eight years here so enjoyable,” Boroughs said.

The new vice president for mission and ministry will be tasked with overseeing several important projects, including the completion of the Calcagnini Contemplative Center, the renovation of Dahlgren Chapel and raising funds for the new Jewish, Muslim and non-Abrahamic worship spaces planned for the Leavey Center.

“I hope that there will be a dynamic and creative Jesuit, or committed and educated lay person if not, who will take over the work of Mission and Ministry at Georgetown,” Boroughs said.

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