Special to The Texas Catholic
The University of Dallas community will come together on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 1, for the inauguration of Jonathan J. Sanford, Ph.D., as the 10th president of the university. The university’s Board of Trustees announced Sanford as UD’s 10th president in spring 2021. The celebration is announced on the heels of a record-breaking freshman enrollment and $100 million endowment milestone, a first in the university’s 65-year history.
The presidential Mass, ceremony and inaugural address will begin at 5 p.m. at the University of Dallas.
Sanford came to the university as dean of Constantin College in 2015 and was elevated to provost in 2018. As provost, Sanford oversees all academic deans of the university’s four schools (Constantin College of Liberal Arts, Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts, Satish and Yasmin College of Business, and the Ann and Joe O. Neuhoff Institute for Ministry & Evangelization), the dean of the library, the dean of students, the dean of the Rome campus, Athletics and Campus Ministry. He also oversees special outreach projects such as UD’s Studies in Catholic Faith and Culture program, as well as the Office of Personal Career Development.
Sanford managed the development of the university’s new strategic plan, and as UD Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Husseini noted, “Dr. Sanford is ideally suited to ensure the implementation of the strategic plan as president. Both as dean and as provost, he has excelled in strengthening the faculty and encouraging our students to excel in their studies and in their post-graduate appointments; developed a greater focus on grants and awards; built new philanthropic opportunities; strengthened UD’s Catholic identity; overseen the development of new programs and initiatives; and elevated the university’s reputation.”
Sanford, who holds the rank of professor and is tenured in the Philosophy Department, graduated summa cum laude from Xavier University in classical languages and philosophy in 1997, received his doctorate from the University of Buffalo, State University of New York in 2001, and received a postdoctoral fellowship from Fordham University in 2001-02. Sanford served at Franciscan University of Steubenville for 13 years before joining the University of Dallas in 2015.
In his administrative work at Franciscan University, he held the positions of associate vice president for academic affairs and chair of philosophy, and also served in the role of the principal elected faculty representative.
Sanford has published widely on philosophical figures and topics and has made significant contributions especially in foundational questions in moral philosophy, as evidenced in “Before Virtue: Assessing Contemporary Virtue Ethics” (The Catholic University of America Press 2015, paperback 2019). Sanford is currently writing a book on virtue and education. He lectures widely to both scholarly and popular audiences on a variety of topics. For the past three years, on the third Monday of each month, he has hosted the “Good News at UD” portion of the Good News Show on Guadalupe Radio (KATH 910 AM). Sanford is a trustee of the Hildebrand Project, a member of the executive committee and the executive council of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, a member of the Dallas board of Legatus, a fellow of the Dallas Institute for Humanities and Culture, and a board member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, and is active in several other professional and academic organizations.
His wife, Rebecca, is a registered nurse and founding board member of Mighty Is Her Call, a Catholic mothers’ ministry recognized by the Diocese of Dallas. The Sanfords, parishioners at St. Rita Catholic Church in Dallas, have nine children and two granddaughters, and live with their younger children in Irving, Texas