DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Concluding my presidency
By DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban /
June 14, 2021 /
Posted in: CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY /
After much prayer and reflection, I have discerned this is the time for me to shift my focus and energy to my personal and familial journey, and away from our shared institutional endeavors. Today I write to inform you that I have asked, and the board has accepted my request, to step down as president of DePaul University, effective June 30, 2022. I am extremely grateful for the board's willingness to allow me to shorten my contract term.
When I was a candidate to become university president, DePaul's Vincentian mission spoke to me immediately. And it has been an honor to work with our outstanding faculty, dedicated staff, and our many alumni and friends to bring our Catholic, Vincentian, and urban mission to life every day.
Together, we have recruited and nurtured a more diverse community of learners, helping all to realize the transformational power of a high-quality education and achieve their full potential. Together, we have made strategic investments that provide the access and tools our students need to succeed. Together, we have continued to strengthen our many nationally ranked programs and created new ones for the future. Together, we have discovered new partners and friends who support our mission. Together, we have made significant progress toward meeting the goals of our strategic plan, Grounded in Mission.
We weathered the coronavirus pandemic with incredible resolve. While most institutions saw significant drops in freshman enrollment, we welcomed, for the second year in a row, the largest and most diverse freshman class in our history. This year's incoming class is on track to be our largest and most diverse class in our history with an even stronger academic profile than last year's class.
This year's results include achieving the second highest fundraising total in our history despite the impact of the pandemic on our economy and society. The resounding success of the Now We Must Campaign, launched in September 2020, helps to ensure that our students have the resources they need to keep their aspirations within reach with a record-breaking $91 million raised so far. Our endowment has grown from $492 million to over $900 million in four years, an increase of more than 80%.
Despite our challenges, we continue to make significant progress towards institutional goals and have completed a number of objectives outlined in the strategic plan. However, on a personal level, the pandemic also led many people, including myself, to rethink priorities.
Many have noted that time is not a renewable resource. If anything, the pandemic helped reinforce that now may be the best time for my wife, Jo, and me to pursue some of our other dreams, which includes discovering different ways to serve others. After much prayer and thought, we believe this is the path the Lord is calling us to pursue.
Jo and I came to DePaul because we believe deeply in the mission, and that has not changed. As part of my sabbatical, in addition to preparing to return to the classroom, we hope to be able to visit with members of the Vincentian family around the world, learn firsthand the many ways they serve others and see if there are ways we might become more involved.
It has been an honor and privilege to serve our students and DePaul University. For the upcoming academic year, I intend to keep the university's focus on our students. Our students deserve it. Serving as the first lay leader of this institution, driven by its mission, has been among the most satisfying endeavors of my career in higher education.