USD’s New Leader Made a Big Splash.
It all started with ice cream.
The University of San Diego welcomed its fourth president, James T. Harris III, DEd, on Aug. 1, 2015, and on his first day, he hosted an ice cream social for employees.
“Ice cream has always been a favorite,” said Dr. Harris. “It was a great way to give my family and me a chance to meet the university community.”
On his second day, Harris, formerly the president and Widener University in Pennsylvania, joined students on a kayaking trip in La Jolla’s marine reserve.
The ice cream social, kayaking trip, employee forums, community involvement and introductory meetings are just some of the many ways Harris has gotten to know USD.
In November, the USD and San Diego communities officially welcomed Harris during a weeklong inauguration celebration. The week’s activities included a community colloquium and Torero Tuesday when, on a single day, the USD family raised more than $100,000 to support student scholars.
Harris also helped plant a garden at a nearby middle school and attended a Mass in his honor. The week ended on a high note when the Toreros stunned SDSU’s Aztecs with a 53-48 victory in the City Championship basketball game.
The highlight, however, was the installation ceremony featuring students, faculty, staff, members of the community, dignitaries, and delegates from universities across the nation who came with words of wisdom, welcome and well wishes for USD’s leader.
Harris says he wouldn’t have left his previous position for any institution other than USD — where Changemakers blossom and where leaders learn to change the world.
The University of San Diego is on the brink of change. In the weeks to come, USD’s vision for enhancing the student experience will unfold.
As USD’s president, Harris isn’t just its newest leader. He’s USD’s most determined Changemaker. He is Leading Change.