The Board of Directors of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College is most pleased to announce the appointment of a new president for the College, Dr. Ryan Williams. After an extensive search conducted throughout the summer and fall semester of this year, the Board is satisfied that the appropriate candidate has been found to replace our outgoing president, Dr. Keith Cassidy, when he retires on 30 June 2019.
Following an internal selection process, the Board of Directors, the Presidential Search Committee, and Dr. Cassidy are delighted to introduce Dr. Williams as the second president of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College and the third president
of this remarkable institution. The Chairman of the Board, Richard J. Sauro, remarks, “In the task of finding a new president we faced challenges that drove the Presidential Search Committee to much prayer and hard work; however, these have been rewarded. I would be remiss not to take this opportunity to publically commend the members of the search committee and the Board of Directors, for their sacrifices and courage in successfully completing that most important task of providing continued and superior leadership for SWC.
“Of course, it is a time of mixed emotions here at SWC. On the one hand, we are most saddened that the time has come for our highly esteemed president, Dr. Keith Cassidy, to retire. On the other hand, we are excited and full of hope at the prospect of acquiring our new president, Dr. Ryan Williams, in whom we see much potential to meet the challenges that lie ahead. We look forward to Ryan’s contributions to SWC during his tenure. He understands the uniqueness of SWC and the vital role it plays in contributing to higher Catholic education in Canada and is one with our Mission. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Williams as he prepares to join SWC next July 1st 2019.”
Dr. Ryan Williams holds a doctorate in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the “Angelicum”), Rome, Italy, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Master of Philosophy from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
His work experience has been varied and interesting. In 2005, after receiving his Master’s degree, he moved to Nairobi, Kenya, where he worked for the Episcopal Conference of Kenya to develop and implement a philosophy program for the national seminary of St. Thomas Aquinas and for St. Joseph’s Seminary, a seminary for the Kenyan Diocese of Meru. While in Kenya, he was also involved in several charitable initiatives for the poor of Kenya.
In 2012, he was hired as the Academic Dean of The Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York. After the aggregation of the seminaries for the dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre and the Archdiocese of New York, he became Associate Dean of St. Joseph’s Seminary for the Archdiocese of New York, where he was in charge of the Huntington and Douglaston (philosophy program) locations. Most recently, he has worked as an ontological engineer at Cycorp, an AI company.
Dr. Williams is a passionate and articulate defender and extoller of the value of a liberal-arts education, and has a thorough understanding of and commitment to the concept of educating the whole person. A faithful Catholic with a great devotion to Our Lady, he has an inspiring vision for the ways in which this kind of education finds its fullness at the heart of the Catholic Church. “Catholic education,” he says, “is not about knowing much, but about knowing deeply. It is the habit of seeing the unity that underlies every branch of knowledge, and recognizing the special role that man has in knowing the Truth of the world. Catholic education inoculates the mind against self-absorption, shifting its gaze outward to the world made for its understanding, and to the God that made all.” Dr. Williams is eager to begin putting his considerable energy and talent at the service of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College in order to bring it to the next level of growth.
An American citizen, Dr. Williams currently lives with his wife Marianna and their four children in Round Rock, Texas.
Retiring president Dr. Cassidy has served the College faithfully for 10 years, and his outstanding accomplishments will go down in the annals of the institution as major milestones in the development of the College. He began his tenure when SWC was still an academy, and oversaw its transition to a Catholic liberal-arts college that offers a three-year Bachelor of Catholic Studies in addition to the pre-existing certificates in Christian Humanities.
President Cassidy writes: “I am delighted that Dr. Williams will be the next president of SWC. He has the education, vision and drive which we need to move forward and to face the challenges besetting all postsecondary education and Catholic colleges in particular. I urge all of our supporters to give him their full confidence and to continue making this institution possible by their financial support and prayers.”
Founded in the year 2000, the school will be entering its 20th year as Dr. Williams takes the helm.