The Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., is the president of Loyola University New Orleans. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1976 after graduating from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He holds advanced degrees in theology and in philosophy and received his Ph.D. from Rice University in 1993. Fr. Wildes is one of the longer-serving presidents of a university. With the length of leadership averaging four years, he has more than tripled that average, and Loyola has benefitted from his steady hand of leadership over the challenges faced during his 13 years of leadership and service.
Fr. Wildes’ academic research is in the field of bioethics. He serves as associate editor to and on the editorial board of a number of ethics and medicine journals and book series, and he is a founding editor of the Journal of Christian Bioethics. He was a member of the Department of Philosophy and a senior research scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, where he also held an appointment at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Fr. Wildes is also a member of the Department of Philosophy at Loyola University New Orleans and teaches undergraduate and law students each year. Wildes authored Moral Acquaintances: Methodology in Bioethics published by the University of Notre Dame Press (2000) and is the editor or co-editor of four books. He has lectured internationally on medicine, ethics, and health care. He is developing a new book on organizational ethics in health care. He is currently a member of the boards of Loyola University Chicago and St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He is a member of the New Orleans Business Council and serves as the vice chair of the Board of Directors of Friends of New Orleans. He is a founding member of the New Orleans Ethics Review Board, which he chaired for four years. The ERB oversees the Office of the Inspector General in New Orleans. In July 2011, Fr. Wildes was appointed to the Civil Service Commission for the city of New Orleans; he also served for a time as commission chair.
Fr. Wildes, who has led Loyola since 2004, has navigated Loyola through both trying times and joyous ones and faced some of the biggest challenges in university history, including the aftermaths of Hurricane Katrina and a national economic recession. Under his leadership, Loyola has enjoyed new and exciting academic programs; increased investments in science, technology, pre-engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) studies; major transformations to campus, especially in Monroe Hall; the creation and development of critical scholarships that so help to diversify, augment, and support our student body; and the largest, most ambitious, and successful capital campaign in Loyola’s history.
To date, the Faith in the Future campaign has attained five record-setting years and nearly $67 million of its $100 million goal. Since 2011, the Faith in the Future campaign has raised more than $13 million for new and renewed facilities, including the Pan-American Life Student Success Center, Monroe Hall, the Benson Jesuit Center, the J. Michael Early Studio, the University Sports Complex, and more. Funds raised have helped to create 20 new professorships and chairs, 42 endowed scholarships, and 19 new academic program endowments.
Under Fr. Wildes’ leadership, Loyola has also seen exciting innovation and change through Project Magis, a transformational journey designed to position Loyola for generations to come. With a strong new leadership team and organizational structure in place – and continued support from alumni, students, faculty, and staff – Loyola looks forward to more exciting improvements and continued growth.