Fordham University in New York Appoints Its First Woman President in Its 181-Year History

Tania Tetlow has been named the 33rd president of Fordham University that has campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan in New York City. When she takes office on July 1, she will be the first woman and first layperson to lead the university in its 181-year history.

Fordham University enrolls just under 9,400 undergraduate students and nearly 7,000 graduate students, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education. Women make up 57 percent of the undergraduate student body.

Tetlow has served as president of Loyola New Orleans since August 2018. Prior to being named president of Loyola, she was senior vice president and chief of staff at Tulane University from 2015 to 2018. She also served at Tulane as associate provost for international affairs, the Felder-Fayard Professor of Law, and director of the university’s domestic violence clinic. From 2000 to 2005, she was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

In a message to the university community, President Tetlow said she is “honored beyond measure” to have been chosen as Fordham’s next president, and talked about what it’s like coming from “a family full of Jesuits.”

“They taught me that faith and reason are intertwined. They instilled in me an abiding curiosity to find God in all things. They sang me to sleep with a Gregorian chant and taught me the absolute joy of learning. I grew up in New Orleans, but Fordham is the reason that I exist. My parents met there as graduate students and got married, and I was born in New York,” said Tetlow, whose father was a Jesuit for 17 years before leaving the order to start a family. “Fordham loomed large in my family. It was an institution of breathtaking excellence in the most exciting city in the world.”

President Tetlow is a graduate of Tulane University, where she majored in American studies. She earned a juris doctorate at Harvard Law School.

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