Loyola University Maryland

Presidential Search

Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., selected to be the 25th president of Loyola

This message was sent to the Loyola community on August 10, 2021.

Dear Members of the Loyola Community,

I am pleased to announce that the Loyola University Maryland Board of Trustees has unanimously selected Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., to serve as the 25th president of the University. Mr. Sawyer, currently Loyola’s senior vice president, was chosen after an extensive, national search following the June 2021 retirement of Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.

My colleagues on the Board of Trustees and I feel confident that Mr. Sawyer’s leadership skills, commitment to Jesuit education, and ideas for the University’s future position him for success as Loyola’s next president. We look forward to welcoming him to the role on Jan. 1, 2022.

About Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D.

Loyola has benefited from Mr. Sawyer’s leadership for 23 years, as he has assumed increasingly significant responsibilities during his tenure here, advancing strategic priorities and supporting the growth of our institution.

When he started at Loyola in 1998, Mr. Sawyer served as special assistant to the president for government and community relations and later rose to the position of vice president for administration. In 2015, he was selected as vice president for advancement, and, in 2017, he was named senior vice president. The depth and breadth of his knowledge of our University are extraordinary—and we can see evidence of that in the ways he has helped Loyola achieve success.

In recent years, under Mr. Sawyer’s leadership, the University raised more than $100 million through the Bright Minds, Bold Hearts campaign, the largest campaign in Loyola’s history, which significantly grew the University’s endowment and student scholarship support. He has also led advancement in raising funds to support strategic capital projects, including the recently opened Miguel B. Fernandez Family Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning.

Mr. Sawyer brought his in-depth understanding of Loyola to his leadership of the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, overseeing the planning and successful reopening and operations of Loyola’s campuses. He is also an affiliate professor in Loyola’s Sellinger School of Business and Management.

A native of Wayne, New Jersey, Mr. Sawyer earned his bachelor’s degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland, College Park, was awarded a Juris Doctor degree from the Widener University School of Law, and completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Institute for Educational Management program. Prior to working at Loyola, Mr. Sawyer—a member of the Maryland State Bar—was an attorney for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and practiced civil and criminal law in Baltimore City.

Mr. Sawyer values Jesuit, liberal arts education, has a proven track record of successful leadership, and has a compelling, foundational vision for strengthening and shaping Loyola in the years ahead. He is also a relationship builder who is prepared to help Loyola achieve still greater success with a deep commitment to its Jesuit identity, academic success, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Selection Process

This is a critical moment in higher education and for Loyola, and the selection of the next president required careful discernment into the right person to shape the University’s future. Faculty, staff, administrators, students, and alumni shared their perspectives on what the Board should look for in the next president.

A diverse pool of applicants with great depth and breadth of experience applied, and the search firm presented the search committee with an outstanding slate of candidates. The choice of a university president requires careful consideration and research, and Loyola is fortunate to be concluding the search by selecting an individual who understands Loyola’s past, recognizes the challenges and opportunities of Loyola’s present, and has the innovative vision and collaborative spirit to guide Loyola into the future.

Commitment to Ignatian Ideals

Mr. Sawyer has a deep passion for Ignatian formation, which has informed his leadership style and will serve him—and Loyola—well as the first lay president of our Jesuit University. He is a graduate of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities’ Ignatian Colleagues Program, which is designed to educate and form administrators and faculty more deeply in the Jesuit and Catholic tradition of higher education. During the program, Mr. Sawyer completed the Spiritual Exercises and participated in an immersion experience in El Salvador. In June 2016, he walked in the steps of St. Ignatius on a pilgrimage through parts of Spain and Italy.

Our Loyola family values the Jesuit tradition and ideals that define, inspire, and drive our University. In recent years, recognizing that we do not have as many members of the Society of Jesus serving and leading at Loyola, the University has intentionally invested in the Ignatian formation of its faculty, staff, administrators, and students—and we will certainly continue to do so.

I am confident that Mr. Sawyer will lead with a passion for and commitment to the Jesuit, liberal arts education that Loyola is proud to deliver to our students. At this moment in history, Loyola needs the certainty and stability of exceptional leadership, a dedication to continued success, and the ability to bring people together—all of which our next president will provide.

The Next Chapter for Loyola

As we greet Mr. Sawyer as Loyola’s next president, we will also welcome his wife, Courtney, a speech pathologist who earned her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Loyola. They are parents to three sons—two of whom are in college and one who is serving in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps—and live in Towson, Maryland. The Sawyers are parishioners of Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland.

The intentions for tomorrow’s 12:10 p.m. Mass in Alumni Memorial Chapel will include Mr. Sawyer and his family—and this next chapter of Loyola University Maryland’s history. All are welcome. We will look forward to additional in-person and virtual opportunities to celebrate our new president in the weeks and months ahead, both on the Evergreen campus and as he connects with members of the Loyola family in and beyond Baltimore.


On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to extend my deep gratitude to the search committee, especially our search committee chair, Gerry Holthaus. I’m grateful for our interim president, Amanda M. Thomas, Ph.D., who has led the University with great skill and thoughtfulness during this transition, ensuring that Loyola continued to move forward at a particularly challenging time. Thank you also to Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., NCC, our acting provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Rodney Parker, Ph.D., our acting chief equity and inclusion officer, who brought exceptional leadership to their interim roles.

We also express our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to the Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., who served as Loyola’s 24th president for 16 years.

Please join me in congratulating Terry Sawyer and welcoming him as the next president of Loyola University Maryland. This is an extraordinary moment for our University, and I invite you to join me in great anticipation and excitement for all this next chapter will hold.


James Forbes, ’80
Board of Trustees
Loyola University Maryland