Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J.
President of Fairfield University
In July 2004, Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J., assumed the presidency of Fairfield University, becoming the eighth Jesuit to hold the position since the institution’s founding in 1942. Fr. von Arx brings to Fairfield broad academic interests, an integrated view of learning, and a zest for student life 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.
In accepting his appointment, Fr. von Arx expressed his intention to familiarize himself from the outset with Fairfield’s many constituencies. “One of my greatest fulfillments in life has been getting to know – in their individuality and their particularity – the institutions, communities, and individuals in which and with whom I have been privileged to serve,” he said. “I look forward to getting to know Fairfield both as a deep personal joy and as a response to God’s call to service in this time and place.”
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.
Born in Bellefont, Penn., Fr. von Arx grew up in Locust Valley on the north shore of Long Island. 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 Le Moyne College, Boston College, Canisius College, Loyola Marymount University, and Xavier University. He was appointed to the Fairfield Board in 2002 and as President, continues to serve as a trustee.