By Junelly Gonzalez
Benedictine University’s new President, Dr. Michael S. Brophy, began his role as BenU’s 11th president this summer and start to the academic year. Brophy succeeded President Emeritus Dr. William J. Carroll, who guided Benedictine for twenty years. Dr. Brophy started his career as a piano major with the thought of becoming a full-time piano teacher.
“I realized I loved music too much to teach it so I worked in admissions at my alma mater College of Saint Rose in upstate New York. In two months I knew it would be my career and within three years I knew I wanted to be a college president. I loved my work in admissions and I began to see it would be a fantastic job,” said Brophy.
“Every day your being inspired and challenged but essentially you have the responsibility of creating magic,” said Brophy. “Our job is to find the best students, hire the best faculty, put them in great classrooms and then that is where the magic happens. So once I realized this I had to go and earn the right to be a president by earning my degrees and earning my stripes.”
Brophy’s focus on making decisions for the betterment of students is apparent.
“I am really excited about our new President Dr. Brophy. He has already been seen multiple times on campus and is very committed to the students. I cannot wait to see the wonderful things to come from him,” said senior Shantell Hernandez, who also served on the presidential search committee.
“Dr. Brophy was my favorite candidate for the presidency ever since he first shook my hand,” said Samuel Guerrero, president of student senate. “He came off as a very genuine individual. As we had the opportunity to ask him questions throughout the day, it was clear that the students at Benedictine University would be his first priority. I was elated when I heard that he would be leading our school. I cannot wait to work with him on making our campus a better place for all students.”
Brophy worked thirty years in higher education starting in 1985. He chose to accept the nomination to serve as Benedictine’s new president because he wanted to work at a relevant catholic university that was built to last.
“At end of 30 years my wife and I knew I had one more job ahead of me before retiring and having spent around a decade at Marymount we knew that we had to plan for a decade in our next appointment because it takes that long to get things done and feel fulfilled. I wanted to stay in catholic higher education so that is one of the main things that drove us.”
“I looked at all the good things that have happened over the last twenty years in terms of extension campuses, technological advancement, international flavor and once we visited we realized it was a slightly larger institution that was very committed to catholic higher education,” said Brophy.
Although President Brophy is committed to maintaining Benedictine’s Catholic mission and identity, he understands the diversity that is present.
“What is really important is to help people understand that the most honorable work you can do is to serve others. Any one from any faith background can be inspired by that. So the question is in our curriculum how can we make individuals feel like they are prepared for work life but at the same time they wake up thinking how can I serve someone else or how can I preserve the dignity of a person. Benedictine truly has faculty that understand the diversity and still want to be true to roots of being a Catholic institution.”