On July 31, 2017, the Member Corporation of the Brothers of Holy Cross unanimously voted to appoint Father David Tyson, C.S.C., president of the college for a term of five years. Father Tyson brings a life-long association with the Congregation of Holy Cross and commitment to higher education in the Holy Cross tradition. He has served as a trustee of the college since 2014 and was named interim president of the college by the Board of Trustees in April 2017. Father Tyson has spent his professional career striving to fulfill the vision of a university as articulated by St. John Henry Newman within the complexity of higher education today and the challenges it must engage.
Born and raised in Gary, IN, Father Tyson is a 1970 graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He received a Master of Theology degree from Notre Dame in 1974 and a doctorate in higher education administration from Indiana University Bloomington in 1980. Father Tyson took his final vows in 1974 and was ordained at Sacred Heart Basilica at Notre Dame in 1975.
Father Tyson served at the University of Notre Dame in a variety of positions on the staff and faculty during the 1970s and 80s. He joined the faculty after completing graduate studies, where he served as an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Management. During that decade he also served as executive assistant to the university president, Father Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., and as vice president for Student Affairs.
In 1990, Father Tyson was elected president of the University of Portland. During his 13 years there, Father Tyson oversaw a major campus expansion, a tripling of its endowment, and improvement of the University’s regional and national standing.
In 2003, he was elected the provincial superior of what was then called the Indiana Province of Holy Cross, the largest Holy Cross province in the world. During his nine-year tenure, Father Tyson choreographed the reincorporation of the Southern Province into the Indiana Province. In 2009, he began a process which led to the merger of the Eastern Province into the Indiana Province. That process was completed in 2011 with the title of the province being changed to the United States Province with over 500 members serving on three continents. He led the US Province until the end of his term in 2012.
In 2014, the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame named Father Tyson the St. André Bessette Director of Nonprofit Professional Development. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Notre Dame for his contributions to the university, the Congregation of Holy Cross, and Catholic higher education. The University of Portland awarded Father Tyson its highest accolade, the Christus Magister Medal, for outstanding service to the University and Catholic higher education in the U.S.
He’s served on a variety of different boards, including the Holy Cross College Board of Trustees, the University of Notre Dame Board of Fellows and Board of Trustees, the Air Force Board of Visitors of Air University. He’s also received the highest civilian award, the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, from the Department of the Army in providing guidance and support for military education in the context of a university.