LOS ANGELES, March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- David W. Burcham was installed as the 15th president of Loyola Marymount University in a ceremony before an estimated crowd of 2,000 in the campus' Gersten Pavilion today.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was among the speakers at the event, which was attended by delegates from colleges and universities from around the nation and the world.
Representatives of leading civic organizations attended, including Gary Toebben, president and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Members of state and local governments also attended, including Los Angeles City council members Bill Rosendahl, Janice Kay Hahn and Dennis Zine.
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez was one of the principal celebrants at a Mass that preceded the inauguration.
In his inaugural speech Burcham described a bright future for LMU. "Extraordinary opportunities lie ahead," he said. "Our time – LMU's time – has arrived … our region, and the world beyond, desperately need supremely well-educated, ethical leaders with deep moral convictions rooted in faith. And in partnership with each of you, that is exactly what we will continue to provide."
Burcham, a 1984 graduate of Loyola Law School, is the first lay president in the university's 100-year history. He was elected unanimously by the LMU Board of Trustees last October.
"Dave Burcham is the best person to lead LMU," said R. Chad Dreier, president of the university's Board of Trustees. "He has a long and distinguished career at the university, both as an educator and as leader, with a passion for our mission manifested in the tradition of our Jesuit and Marymount education. His record of accomplishments speaks directly to LMU's commitment to academic excellence."
Burcham's association with LMU began as a student in 1981. He graduated first in his class from Loyola Law School and, after seven years in public and private practice, he returned to the law school and teaching. He is a recognized authority on constitutional law, clerked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit for Chief Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert (1984-86) and the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Byron White (1986-87). He was in private practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in 1987-91.
Burcham was appointed senior vice president and dean of Loyola Law School in 2000, and served until 2008, when he was named LMU's executive vice president and provost. In 2010, Burcham took over leadership of the university when President Robert B. Lawton, S.J., resigned for health reasons.
"We set a very high bar for what we wanted and expected in our next president, including academic excellence, executive leadership, fundraising experience and furtherance of our Jesuit, Marymount and Catholic traditions," said Kathleen Aikenhead, vice chair of the LMU Board of Trustees and chair of the Presidential Search Committee. "Dave Burcham already has proved himself."
A native of Los Angeles, Burcham earned a B.A. in political science from Occidental College in 1973, an M.A. in education administration from Cal State Long Beach in 1978 and a J.D. from Loyola Law School in 1984. Prior to attending law school, he was a teacher and administrator from 1973 to 1981. Burcham and Chris, his wife, have been married for 37 years. They have two children.
About Loyola Marymount University
Located between the Pacific Ocean and downtown Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University is a comprehensive university offering 56 major programs, 38 master's degrees and a doctoral degree in education from four colleges, two schools and Loyola Law School. Founded in 1911, LMU is ranked third in "Best Regional Universities West" by U.S. News & World Report. LMU is one of the largest Catholic institutions of higher education on the West Coast with nearly 5,800 undergraduate students and more than 3,000 graduate and law students. For more LMU news and events, please visit www.lmu.edu/news.
SOURCE Loyola Marymount University