More than 21 years ago, George E. Martin, PhD, was inaugurated as president of St. Edward’s University. On the eve of his retirement, we asked those who have worked with him to reflect on the legacy he leaves.

Illustration of George E. Martin, Ph.D.

“George Martin knew that the key to the university’s long-term sustainability was increasing the size of our enrollment. His vision has led to the great success we have had over the last 20 years. Most importantly, he achieved that while staying true to our mission of educating the hearts and minds of a diverse 
population and emphasizing the quality of our teaching.”

— Carolyn Lewis, Member of the Board of Trustees for 28 Years


“Dr. Martin can see things that don’t yet exist but are needed to manifest the mission for years to come. He leads throughout the challenges of today, while bringing about a future that doesn’t yet exist.”  

— Lisa Kirkpatrick, Vice President for Student Affairs. Kirkpatrick arrived at St. Edward’s in 1994 as an area coordinator for Residence Life.


“As important as Dr. Martin’s impact and legacy, are the kindness and care with which he approached not only his work but also every member of our community.”

— Jason Callahan, Professor of Mathematics. Callahan joined St. Edward’s in 2009.

As Dr. Martin prepares to depart his presidency, much will be said about his remarkable leadership. His warmth of heart, generosity of spirit, decency and goodness — so aligned and attuned to the mission of this university — have guided him and us. This alignment of leader and mission is evident in his belief in the personal transformation that a St. Edward’s education provides its students. The St. Edward’s mission is also his personal mission. Thank you, Dr. Martin, for transforming this great university with heart and goodness and love. St. Edward’s, and all of us, are better for it.”

— Tracy Manier, Vice President for Enrollment Management. Manier arrived at St. Edward’s in 1997 as an admission counselor.


“Showing us how to lead would have been informative, but not inspiring. George has been a transformational president because his service has revealed to the entire community why they should devote themselves to their ideals. He has unfailingly maintained his passion and commitment for 21 years. He has taken moments of inspiration and turned them into a lifetime of service. He has given us all a profound example of a rich and deeply meaningful life.”

— Steve Shadowen ’80, Chair of the Board of Trustees and Member of the Board for 9 Years.


“I don’t think there is anyone in higher education today who understands the role and challenges of Catholic Holy Cross higher education in the 21st century better than George Martin. Time and time again, over the past 20 years, he has brought major issues to the trustees and the entire St. Edward’s community, which has made it possible for the university to navigate these uncertain times.”

— Brother Richard Daly, CSC, ’61. Member of the Board of Trustees for 37 Years.

"One of Dr. Martin’s most enduring legacies is his dedication and commitment to raising the social mobility of first-generation and minority students. They arrive with socioeconomic disadvantage and go on to earn Fulbrights, graduate with distinction, and gain acceptance into prominent graduate programs.”

— Lorelei Ortiz, Professor of Management. Ortiz joined St. Edward’s in 2002.

“George Martin’s biggest impact, by far, has been his emphasis on our Holy Cross heritage. We would always conduct a reality check based on our adherence to mission. God bless him for that.”

— Bill Quinn, Professor of Biology and Computer Science. Quinn joined St. Edward’s in 1983.

"Dr. Martin put St. Edward’s University on the map. Back in 1999, he understood how special this university was.”

— Nicole Treviño ’99, Associate Vice President for Student Success. Treviño arrived on campus as a freshman in 1995 and started her career in Residence Life after graduation.


“Shortly after Dr. Martin arrived at St. Edward’s, he asked me to chair the facilities committee of the board. We hardly knew each other, and I was wary. ‘Exactly what kind of buildings do you want to build at St. Ed’s?’ I asked him. ‘Beautiful ones,’ he replied. With that quick exchange and throughout the 20-plus years that followed, I have had the privilege of taking a master class in leadership taught by George Martin. George had very high standards for performance from everyone around him. Unfailingly, in my judgment, he selected the best architect for every building or project we approved. But he approved only after he asked a series of key questions of the architect, the consultants, the staff, and yes, me, too. We all had to answer cogently and concisely. We have a beautiful campus to prove my point.”  

— Melba Whatley, Member of the Board of Trustees for 25 Years

Honoring President George E. Martin

Hear members of the St. Edward’s community share their perspectives on the enduring legacy of Dr. Martin and their gratitude for his leadership and vision.  

Sorin Oak illustration

Our Mission: A Beautiful and Inspirational Gift

Dr. George E. Martin will retire from St. Edward's University on June 30, 2021, at which point he will become president emeritus and the Reverend Edward S. Sorin Professor of Leadership. Read his reflections on the past 21 years.