ROGERS PARK — After 16 years at Loyola University, Rev. Michael Garanzini will soon be leaving for a new opportunity at Fordham University in New York, the school announced Tuesday.
From 2001-15 Garanzini served as Loyola's president, and in 2015 stepped down so the school could transition to new leadership.
For the last two years, the reverend has served as the school's chancellor. He was the third chancellor in Loyola's history.
A spokesman for the school said Garanzini would not be replaced because the chancellor title is an "honorary role."
Garanzini is now slated to return to Fordham, where he taught prior to coming to Loyola, for a visiting research faculty position, according to a letter co-signed by Bob Parkinson, chairman of the university's Board of Trustees, and President Jo Ann Rooney.
Part of that work will include stewardship on behalf of the Society for Jesus and launching a new International Association of Jesuit Universities, according to Parkinson.
In his absence, the school is establishing the Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., Scholars Program.
"Father Garanzini’s legacy as Loyola’s president ... is embodied by the transformation and expansion of our campuses, booming enrollments, a robust and integrative student experience, a renewed emphasis on health sciences education and research, sound financial management, fundraising success, and the University’s emphasis on global education and engagement," the letter said.
"Please join us in recognizing Father Garanzini and expressing our gratitude."
Last year, Garanzini was also honored as the "Pride of Edgewater" by the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce for his work in the Edgewater and Rogers Park communities during his tenure.
The reverend was not available for comment because he is out of the country, according to the school, however the letter noted Garanzini said "he is grateful to the Loyola community ... for its tireless commitment to moving Loyola forward together."
"He expressed his appreciation for all current and former trustees whose advice and support were essential to the University’s success," the letter said. "He is especially grateful for his time with our exceptional students who he says have been a constant source of inspiration and joy for him."
The message also added that Garanzini hoped to someday develop a research center that would "support and supplement" his work furthering the mission of Jesuit education — to which the Board of Trustees and Loyola said it would support though a financial commitment.