Welcome to the Loyola University Newsroom

Print this page

Happy Birthday to Loyola President Emeritus Rev. James Carter, S.J.!

Loyola press release - August 1, 2008

In addition to celebrating his birthday today, the Rev. James C. Carter, S.J., was honored earlier this week for serving the Jesuit priesthood for 50 years.

The Rev. James C. Carter, S.J., professor of science and religion and president emeritus for Loyola University New Orleans, was recently honored at the Immaculate Conception Church during its Jesuit Jubilee Celebration.

“Being a Jesuit teacher, administrator, and pastor has brought many satisfactions,” said Carter. “One of them is the privilege of becoming a part of many wonderful families. I am most grateful for the support of my fellow Jesuits, my fellow faculty members, my students, and the many friends who have made work for the kingdom such a joy.”

Carter was the longest tenured president of Loyola University, serving for more than 21 years. His career at Loyola spans more than 41 years. Carter is also recognized as a theologian, nuclear physicist and civic leader. Carter has been involved in advancement work for Loyola, including working with alumni, donors and the community. He plays an active role in fund-raising for the university. In addition, he has conducted numerous spiritual retreats.

Carter received his Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Spring Hill College, a master’s degree from Fordham University and a S.T.L. from Woodstock College. His field of research is nuclear and elementary particle theories. He has published many articles in the fields of nuclear physics and in theology.

Reflecting a varied career, Carter has received numerous honors and awards. In 1974, he received the Palmes Academiques, and the same year, as an alumnus of St. Stanislaus High School in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, he was elected to the school’s Hall of Fame. Carter has been honored with the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith’s Torch of Liberty Award in 1983. In 1994, he received the Whitney M. Young Award, presented by the Urban League. Loyola presented Carter an honorary doctorate in 1995.

As a civic activist, he has served as division director of the United Way, a director at New Orleans Public Service, Inc., and as president of the Metropolitan Area Committee. Carter served as interim executive director of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in 1996.

Carter has a long personal history at Loyola. He came to the university first as a student in 1944. He returned in 1960 to teach physics as an instructor, later becoming an assistant and associate professor of physics. He was appointed provost and academic vice president in 1970, and in 1974, he was named the 14th president of university. After serving the university for the longest period of any previous Loyola president, Carter announced his retirement in the summer of 1994.

Under Carter’s presidential tenure of vision and persistence, Loyola flourished. Undergraduate, graduate and Institute for Ministry extension classes saw a steady increase in enrollment. A large percentage of students now come from all over the United States as well as more than 48 countries. Carter has remarked that he is most proud, however, of the “building of a first-rate faculty which helped to improve the student body enormously.” The current faculty-student ratio is 11-to-1 and more than 90 percent have doctorate or terminal degrees.

The physical campus changed as well. In 1976, the science facility was renamed to honor J. Edgar Monroe, the school’s most generous benefactor. The successful completion of the university’s capital campaign for the construction of the Communications/ Music Building, the University Sports Complex, the acquisition of the Broadway campus and relocation of the law school, and the purchase of Mercy Academy were all achieved under Fr. Carter’s presidency. Perhaps his finest accomplishment for the future was the laying of the groundwork for the J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Memorial Library, which opened to students in 1999.