Robert T. Walsh, S.J.

Message from the President
Oct. 24, 2020

Dear LMU Community:

I am saddened to share that Rev. Robert T. Walsh, S.J., former chancellor of the university, passed away this morning, Oct. 24, 2020, at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California, after a brief illness. He was 70 years old.

For more than 30 years, Father Walsh was a beloved and impactful figure in Catholic education in Los Angeles. His commitment to the intellectual rigor of Jesuit education and his ministerial service fortified the leadership of Loyola High School and, later, LMU.

Father Walsh served as chancellor from 2018 to 2020, strengthening the spiritual and financial connections with and within the Los Angeles Catholic community. Before becoming chancellor, he was executive director of the LMU Center for Catholic Education for five years, where he led the implementation of innovative programs in the areas of leadership development, teacher preparation, research, professional development and outreach. Under Father Walsh’s direction, the center won the Dr. Karen M. Ristau Innovation Award in 2016 for its comprehensive approach to furthering the mission of Catholic education. Father Walsh also served as chaplain of LMU’s service organization Magis.

Father Walsh was principal and president of Loyola High School in Los Angeles from June 1992 through June 2005, and president of St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco from July 2006 to June 2012. His ties to LMU ran deep: he attended Loyola University of Los Angeles in the 1970s; he was a former member of the LMU Board of Trustees, where he served on the Student Life, Governance, Development and Presidential Search committees; he served on the LMU School of Education Advisory Board and on the Catholic Education Foundation Board of Trustees, as well as on several other educational and nonprofit boards in the Los Angeles area.

A fifth-generation Californian, Father Walsh joined the Jesuits in 1968 after graduating from St. Ignatius Prep. He was ordained in 1980. He earned his Master of Divinity degree, in theology and ministry, from the Jesuit School of Theology, and his master's degree in private school administration from the University of San Francisco. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University.

Robert was a dear friend to me. He always brought light—a characteristic joy that was uniquely his—to any conversation. Please keep Robert, his family, and each of his friends in your prayers.


Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.