Office of the President

scroll to learn more
About Us > Leadership & Offices > Office of the President

A Biography of Fairfield University President, the Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.

In July 2004, the Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J., became the eighth Jesuit to be named President of Fairfield University since the institution's founding in 1942.

‌Fr. von Arx brings to Fairfield broad academic interests and an integrated view of learning. His zest for student life is born of having lived in undergraduate residence halls throughout his years at Georgetown and Fordham. His approach to the intellectual life reflects the best of what Jesuit education offers the world - the integration of knowledge and values as the foundation for unity of mind, body, and spirit.

An historian by discipline, Fr. von Arx began his academic career at Georgetown University, where he taught in the History Department from 1982 to 1998, and was its chair from 1991 to 1997. He then moved into administration at Fordham University, serving as Dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill from 1998 until his selection as President by the Fairfield University Board of Trustees in 2004.

He graduated from Princeton University in 1969 and entered the Society of Jesus that summer. He subsequently earned an M.A. and M.Phil. in history at Yale University, and completed his Ph.D. there in 1980. A year later, Fr. von Arx received an M.Div. from the Weston School of Theology and was ordained a priest.

Fr. von Arx has served or is currently on the boards of trustees of Boston College, Canisius College, Loyola Marymount University, and Xavier University, as well as Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC). He was appointed to the Fairfield Board in 2002 and as president, continues to serve as a trustee.

Welcoming our new president (Fairfied Now, Fall 2004)

The Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx Celebrating Ten Years of "Learning and Integrity"


"We have to be universities that teach our students how the world works, but then we have to go further, and ask our students to ask themselves what is really important globally ... What really serves the common interest? What is an authentic human response to suffering? Are we content to simply look after our own interests, or are we obligated to serve the human community as well? We need to teach our students how to think about the problem, and then we need to help them to see that they have a choice to make, and that the answer to the questions of what road to take can be found in their hearts if they look deeply enough."

- The Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.

The Homilies, Speeches and Publications of Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.

What is Fr. von Arx's definition of "success"? How does he feel about Catholics and politics? Explore the links below to get into the head of this widely published president.




  • A Post-Traumatic Church, America, June 22-29, 2015 Issue
  • From Jefferson to Rorty, America, October 27, 2014 Issue
  • Financial Aid: Need Based or Merit Based?: Towards a Just Policy, Conversations, Vol. 44, Article 8, September 2013
  • Professional Education, Conversations, Vol. 35, Article 4, April 2009
  • "Catholics and Politics," in V. Alan McClelland and Michael Hodgetts, eds., From Without the Flaminian Gate, Darnton, Longman and Todd, London, 1999.
  • "Varieties of Ultramontanism" (editor and contributor), Catholic University Press, Washington, DC, 1997.
  • "Archbishop Manning and the Kulturkampf," in Recusant Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2, October 1992, pp. 254-266.
  • "The Victorian Crisis of Faith as Crisis of Vocation," in R. Helmstadter and B. Lightman, eds., Victorian Faith in Crisis, Macmillan, London, 1990, pp. 262-282.
  • "Manning's Ultramontarism and the Catholic Church in Britain Politics," in Recusant History, Vol. 19, No. 3, May 1989, pp. 332-347.
  • Progress and Pessimism: Religion, Politics and History in Late Nineteenth Century Britain, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1985.
  • "Victorian Ethics of Belief: A Reconsideration," with Frank M. Turner in W. Warren Wagar, ed., The Secular Mind: Transformation of Faith in Modern Europe, Holmes and Meier, New York, 1982, pp. 83-101.

University Presidents

Fairfield University has had 8 presidents since its founding in 1942.

Rev. Jeffrey P.
von Arx, S.J.
Rev. Aloysius P.
Kelley, S.J.*
Rev. Thomas R. Fitzgerald, S.J.
Rev. William C.
McInnes, S.J.
Rev. James E. Fitzgerald, S.J.
Rev. Joseph D. Fitzgerald, S.J.
Rev. James H.
Dolan, S.J.
Rev. John J.
McEleney, S.J.

* President Emeritus

Executive Office Directory

Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.

Diane Mastrone
Administrative Assistant
(203) 254-4000, ext. 2217

Rev. Charles H. Allen, S.J.
University Chaplain and Special Assistant to the President
(203) 254-4280

Kevin Lawlor
Executive Vice President

Melinda Good
Administrative Assistant
(203) 254-4000, ext. 2675

Michael G. Tortora
Executive Assistant to the President & Chief of Staff
(203) 254-4000, ext. 2256

Kristine Carroll
Director of Board Relations
(203) 254-4000, ext. 2289

Office of the President
Fairfield University
Bellarmine Hall
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

About Us →

Admission & Aid →

Academics →

Life at Fairfield →

Parents & Families →

Alumni & Friends →

Athletics →