President's Bio


Fr. Terrence Henry, TOR, University President

Father Terence Henry, TOR

A Philadelphia-area native, Father Terence Henry, TOR, entered the novitiate of the TOR Franciscans in 1967 and professed solemn vows on June 1, 1972. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 15, 1976. Also in 1976, Father Terence earned a master's degree in history from Indiana State University and a master of divinity from St. Francis Seminary.

Throughout his over 30 years in education, Father Terence has established a strong rapport with both students and faculty, gaining their trust and respect. Father Terence taught history at Bishop Egan High School from 1976 to 1991. He became Bishop Egan High School's principal in 1992 and oversaw its merger into Conwell-Egan High School, serving as its first president from 1993 until 1996 when he transferred to St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. There he served as vice president of Mission and Ministry and taught in the Continuing Education Department. While in Loretto, Father Terence was also postulant director for the TOR Franciscan community from 1996 to 2000.

In August 2000, Father Terence was appointed the fifth president of Franciscan University of Steubenville. A member of Franciscan University's Board of Trustees since 1993, Father Terence had already played a vital role in furthering the spiritual and academic mission of the University--a role that prepared him for the challenges and demands of the presidency.

Father Terence continues Franciscan University's commitment to follow Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In one of his first public acts as president, he took the Oath of Fidelity and made the Profession of Faith required by canon law of Catholic theology professors and those involved in the spiritual formation of students. He also applied for and received the required mandatum from the Bishop of Steubenville in 2001. Each January, he personally leads Franciscan's students in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.

His leadership helped the University win a $600,000 Fides Et Ratio Grant in 2001, and he has since participated in several Fides Et Ratio colloquia, working with other Catholic educators to promote initiatives in Catholic liberal arts education supported by the twin pillars of faith and reason.

As pastor, educator, and administrator, Father Terence has promoted Pope John Paul II's call for Catholics to influence every aspect of culture, introducing new majors in drama, catechetics, German, sacred music, and legal studies, and a concentration in bioethics for the MA Philosophy Program.

He introduced the Commuter Grant Program, which encouraged and aided more local students to study at Franciscan with their peers from around the United States and many countries.

Father Terence also successfully oversaw the University's re-entry into intercollegiate sports in 2007 as the Barons became provisional members of the NCAA Division III and gained entry into the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. These affiliations give student-athletes the opportunities they need to transform the secular sports culture with the light of Christ as players and later as parents, coaches, or athletic directors.

The physical campus has more than doubled in size with the purchase of adjacent property bringing the total acreage to 239, allowing the beautification of lower campus along University Boulevard, and ensuring plenty of space for further growth. A new residence hall, the 48,000-square-foot SS. Louis and Elizabeth Hall, opened in fall 2007 as home to 177 students. Apartment-style housing became available for upperclassmen and graduate students when the University purchased a neighborhood adjacent to campus from the Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority in 2008

Father Terence undertook the most ambitious capital campaign in the University's history, with a $25 million goal earmarked for student scholarships, a new friary, and chairs in bioethics and catechetics among the top needs. In 2009, the friars moved into their new home, which gives them more room for ministry, outreach, and hospitality as well as a better working and living environment.

With enrollment currently topping 2,400, Father Terence stresses that the focus of the University remains its students.

"The student body of this school in the Upper Ohio Valley is made up of students from 50 states and 15 countries and is very diverse. But they are unified in their desire to serve God and to equip themselves with the skills to live in a secular world and to try to transform the culture. It is exciting that they have kept this goal of contributing to the culture of life and the civilization of love."

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