President Heynderickx at Ernsdorff Center groundbreaking
May 27, 2021

LACEY, Wash. — This spring, President Roy Heynderickx announced that he will be retiring as president of Saint Martin's University at the end of the next academic year, 2021-2022. In June 2022, he will have served as president for 14 years. Over the last 13 years, under his leadership, Saint Martin’s has expanded its academic offerings, including new majors across four colleges, new graduate programs and its first doctoral program; increased enrollment at the undergraduate and graduate levels; and broadened community partnerships and record-breaking fundraising efforts, including the addition of several new academic buildings, grants and scholarships, to provide greater support and opportunities for its students.

In a joint letter to the community, Saint Martin's University Chancellor Abbot Marion Nguyen, O.S.B. and Saint Martin's University Board of Trustee Chair Medrice Coluccio expressed their gratitude for President Heynderickx, whose leadership and remarkable tenure saw tremendous growth even in times of adversity: "Throughout his presidency, [President Heynderickx] exhibited a clear vision and principled character, as well as a profound respect for Saint Martin’s Catholic and Benedictine heritage. These qualities helped Roy and his team successfully navigate our community through the COVID-19 pandemic."

During his presidency, Saint Martin's also gained recognition for its efforts to support its increasingly diverse student body and surrounding community, including being named a top 40 "Most Transformative College" by Money magazine, the first Purple Heart University in Washington state, and Thurston Green Business' 2021 Large Business of the Year. In a message to the university community at the end of spring semester, Heynderickx shared that when he renewed his current contract five years ago, he and his wife, Kathleen, had determined that it would be best to retire at the end of this term. Said Heynderickx, "I thank all of you who have supported me these many years, and I know the many accomplishments over my tenure are truly ours as many have worked hard to make things possible."

As he begins his final year at Saint Martin’s, President Heynderickx has shared his intention to continue to strengthen the university, including a stronger commitment to diversity, equity and inclusivity initiatives; launching a new strategic plan; and preparing the university for a new post-pandemic landscape. 

President Heynderickx has worked in Catholic higher education for 42 years. Prior to coming to Saint Martin’s, he served in several leadership roles, including vice president for finance and administration at the University of San Diego and chief financial officer at the University of Portland. Heynderickx became the tenth president of Saint Martin’s University on January 1, 2009.

Click here to learn more information regarding the presidential search, led jointly by the Saint Martin’s Abbey and the Saint Martin’s University Board of Trustees.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent coeducational university, with undergraduate and graduate offerings, located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 29 majors, 11 master’s programs, one doctorate program and seven certificate programs spanning the arts and sciences, business, counseling, education, engineering, nursing and leadership. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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Genevieve Chan
Vice President, Marketing and Communications