Regis celebrates inauguration of President Salvador Aceves

Less than one year into his tenure as president of Regis University, Salvador Aceves, Ed.D., has overseen several moments of Regis history.

On Jan. 2, his second day as president, he answered a call from the Denver mayor’s office to offer emergency shelter to 13 Venezuelan families who had been traveling to the United States for months, many of them on foot. He led the university as the Regis community joined together within hours to offer a warm haven to people in need.

In April, as he entered his fourth month as president, the University was officially designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution, which denotes that a university serves a student body made up of more than 25 percent Hispanic students. In the fall, the University’s population of Latinx students reached 43 percent.

And on Sept. 22, Aceves’ role was made official as he was inaugurated as the 27th president of Regis University in a ceremony that welcomed luminaries, students, faculty, staff and the community to celebrate a new chapter of the University’s 146-year history. During the ceremony, hosted in the St. John Francis Regis Chapel, Aceves expressed his commitment to guiding the university.

“The title of president of Regis University is the greatest honor of my professional career and I am indeed humbled by it,” Aceves said. “I sought this role not for my ego, but as a servant of God's word. And I am profoundly grateful for the privilege of having received a Jesuit Catholic education that has not only enriched my knowledge, but also instilled in me a strong sense of values, compassion and a commitment to social justice. My education has been a transformative gift that almost four decades of working at three Jesuit institutions continues to shape my life in meaningful ways.”

The hour-and-a-half long ceremony included words of congratulations from the provincial leader of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province, the Very Rev. Thomas Greene, S.J., as well as Rev. Kevin Burke, S.J., and Rev. Thomas Curran, S.J. In addition, top leaders in government, including U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar and Colorado Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera offered their congratulations to Aceves and the university at large.


Salazar noted the sense of community and service among students, faculty and staff and the important role Aceves holds as he guides the university.

“And so today, Salvador Aceves, you are in a wonderful and most fortunate position,” Salazar said. “The world needs you. The United States of America needs you, Colorado needs you. The university needs you.”

Primavera, a 1972 graduate of Regis, said much has changed since she was a student at the university, then known as Regis College. At that time, she said, there were 10 male students to every female student. Today, more than 60 percent of the Regis student population is female.

“While some things have changed, what remains the same is Regis’ steadfast commitment to building a more just and humane world through transformative education, bringing together faith, reason and culture,” she said.

Derek Scarth, chair of the Regis Board of Trustees and 1995 alumnus, said the people of Regis were foundational to his education. He praised Aceves' qualifications as tools that will set the university up for success for years to come.

“I know in my core that Dr. Aceves exemplifies everything I hold dear about the personal characteristics required to do this job because of his amazing blend of competence and lived Jesuit values in his entire life,” he said. “In short order, Dr. Aceves has demonstrated himself to embody the core persona of even the best Jesuits, many present here today.”

Aceves thanked his family, including his wife of 38 years, Carol, for their support, and recognized the efforts of faculty and staff to support students.

“Together, we are shaping a brighter future for our institution and the students we serve. Thank you for your invaluable contributions and your support.”


Regis University | Inauguration Celebration - Faith at Regis from Regis University on Vimeo.

Learn more about Salvador Aceves, the 27th president of Regis University.