June 30, 2022 – Father Ronald R. O’Dwyer, SJ, has been named De Smet Jesuit High School’s next president. Father O’Dwyer was appointed interim president of De Smet in January 2022.
As interim president, Fr. O’Dwyer began the process of creating a shared vision for the transformation of programs and facilities at De Smet Jesuit. He has engaged alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and community leaders in this critical and exciting work.
“The bold vision that brought us together more than 50 years ago – offering a world-class Jesuit education rooted in the values of Jesus Christ – could not be more relevant today,” said Fr. O’Dwyer. “De Smet Jesuit will continue to be a place where students hone and grow their talents in a community whose highest ideals are centered on forming men for others. This vision is our future.”
This vision will come to life through a long-term strategic planning process focused on:
- Nurturing the Catholic, Jesuit identity of De Smet and animating the spiritual life of the school community.
- Enhancing De Smet Jesuit’s commitment to academic excellence, including making the education of the next generation of young men accessible.
- Forming well-rounded leaders who use their gifts and talents to serve others.
A graduate of Regis Jesuit High School in Denver, Fr. O’Dwyer served at De Smet as a theology teacher and an assistant for student activities as part of his Jesuit formation.
“I’ve been given many gifts during my Jesuit life. Among the greatest of these has been the chance to teach at De Smet,” he said.
Until his appointment as interim president at De Smet, he was serving as the assistant to the dean for Catholic School Initiatives and an assistant professor in Saint Louis University’s School of Education. He previously served as the director of the Billiken Teacher Corps from 2016-2020.
This spring, Fr. O’Dwyer completed a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University. He holds four graduate degrees: an M.A. in Catholic Educational Leadership and an M.A. in Philosophy from Saint Louis University; and a Master’s in Divinity and an ecclesial degree from Boston College. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America, and he is a graduate of Regis Jesuit High School in Denver. In addition, he has extensive board experience at Creighton University, Rockhurst High School, Loyola Academy of St. Louis, and Boys Hope Girls Hope.
He will be formally installed as president during an all-school Mass on Aug. 26, 2022.
Founded in 1967, De Smet Jesuit High School is a Catholic, college preparatory school for young men devoted to offering a world-class Jesuit education and student formation rooted in the values of Jesus Christ. De Smet offers students a place to develop their minds and talents in a community whose highest ideals are centered on its mission to inspire and prepare men for others to transform the world, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, for the greater glory of God. De Smet Jesuit is located in the heart of St. Louis County, Missouri. For more information, visit www.desmet.org.