Dr. Richard Ludwick

We have often thought of ourselves as a small light. The University of St. Thomas is a light, yes, but it is not small. That is not our destiny.

Dr. Richard Ludwick President, University of St. Thomas

Dr. Ludwick became the ninth president of the University of St. Thomas on July 1, 2017.

In his inauguration speech, he noted “Ours is an open university that welcomes people of all faith and people of no faith. It is because we are Catholic that we must reach out to others of goodwill. We will be leaders in our location, the greater Houston area, and we will be leaders beyond."

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Undergraduate students walking on campus at University of St. Thomas in Houston, TexasWelcome to the University of St. Thomas!

From across the city and around the world, 3,600 students are drawn to this university each year because of the distinctive nature of a St. Thomas education.

They are drawn by our small class sizes that encourage great dialogue and personal engagement; by our Basilian Catholic legacy of teaching and our faith-based education; and by our core curriculum that builds a solid foundation for degree programs in business, education, science, technology and many more fields of study.

The vibrant dialogue at UST between faith and reason prepares students to think clearly, seek the truth boldly and confidently, communicate effectively, think critically and build an ethical and moral foundation for leadership in their professional and personal lives.

Our students learn more because they have access to exceptional faculty who teach, guide and mentor them; 94 percent of full-time faculty members have the highest degree in their field. Our high acceptance rate into medical school, our cooperative degree program in engineering, the new school of nursing and the impressive global accreditation of our Cameron School of Business demonstrate our success.

More than 22,000 UST alumni are making a difference across our city and around the world. They are physicians in the world’s largest medical center and teachers in the Fifth Ward of Houston. They are researchers and fundraisers, writers and counselors, entrepreneurs and nurses – many of them leading in businesses and organizations across the Houston region.

Tw undergraduate STEM students in science lab at University of St. Thomas in Houston, TexasWe are fortunate to live, work and learn in the fourth largest and most diverse city in America, and our campus is located just minutes from the Texas Medical Center and adjacent to a thriving museum district. The region’s vibrant economy provides a great resource for student internships and career opportunities after graduation.

Growth in our science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs has led to the construction of a new Center for Science and Health Professions and plans for a new Performing and Fine Arts Center. We are looking forward to these enhancements to our 19-block urban campus in the heart of the city.

Our vision is for the University of St. Thomas to become one of America’s great Catholic universities, and we are well on our way. We are confident in our mission, and we have faith in our students, in our faculty and in our benefactors. We have faith in our future.

Thank you for your interest in St. Thomas.

Catch up with Dr. Ludwick on “Fearlessly Forward,” the president’s blog. Stay current with the latest campus announcements, updates on our Call Toward Tomorrow initiatives, and much more.

Visit the Blog

Artist rendering of Chapel of St. Basil gold dome looking out to downtown Houston, TexasThe Call Toward Tomorrow, an integrated planning process. It unites Celts in the creation of a vibrant new roadmap for the future of the University of St. Thomas. Nationally renowned strategists, led by UST alumnus, Deacon Larry Vaclavik ’78, ’94, ’04, are spearheading a planning process that will move us forward over the next few years with confidence, direction and purpose. We will develop a bold, transformational, and durable vision, shaping how we conceive the promise ahead for decades in the life of the University of St. Thomas.

I propose a new way forward, a “culture of encounter,” as an approach for us — you and me — to be our best with each other. Recognizing that each of us is imbued with gifts to share and to be respected, we can emerge from the clouds of doubt and distrust that can separate and distort our unity. Gone is the fear that stymies growth, initiative, ownership and innovation. In its place is our true nature, friendship, that restores, builds and advances.

Our questions are big ones. They call us to understand the lived reality of students and the pressures of our world, not borne of nostalgia. At the same time, they beckon us to new possibilities, formed from imagination and fearless dreaming. With big answers to big questions and the immutable truths of faith, our vision will sharpen and lead UST to a bold future of unprecedented success.

Thank you in advance for “opting in” together as we discern The Call Toward Tomorrow and build a bright and shining future for the University of St. Thomas.

visit the call toward tomorrow website

University of St. Thomas Houston President Richard L. Ludwick​Richard L. Ludwick became the 9th president of the University of St. Thomas on July 1, 2017. He previously served as president of the Independent Colleges of Indiana, the nation’s oldest association of 31 private, nonprofit colleges and universities enrolling more than 100,000 students. In that capacity, he led strategic initiatives in public policy at the state and federal levels, spurred innovative, intercollegiate collaborations, and successfully executed multi-million dollar philanthropic campaigns.

Richard served as provost at St. Gregory’s University in Oklahoma before joining ICI. Early in his career, Richard co-founded a law firm in Indiana and later went on to serve institutions of higher learning across the United States, including positions as vice president of enrollment management and student affairs at Albany Law School (Albany, NY); assistant dean for student and academic affairs at the University of Florida’s Fredric G. Levin College of Law (Gainesville); and dean of students at the University of Oregon School of Law (Eugene).

In addition to his Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Evansville, Richard holds a Master of Arts in higher education administration from Teachers College of Columbia University (New York), Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney Law School, and Doctor of Education in policy management and organization of higher education administration from the University of Oregon (Eugene).

Currently, Richard serves as president of the International Council of the Universities of Saint Thomas Aquinas, a global network of institutions dedicated to the spirit of St. Thomas. Richard served as a commissioner for the Midwest Higher Education Compact; chair of the board for the Coalition for College Cost Savings; as a member of the Indiana Chamber’s Business Higher Education Policy Committee; and as a member of the State Councils’ Advisory Committee for the Council of Independent Colleges.

Richard and his wife, Melynda, a pharmacist, have two grown children, Richard III, also a graduate of the University of Evansville, and Christianne, a graduate of Ave Maria University and Butler University respectively. Christianne and husband, Michael Fenzl, have two children, Gabriel and Pia.


  • B.A., University of Evansville, History
  • M.A., Teachers College of Columbia University - New York, Higher Education Administration
  • J.D.,  Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney Law School
  • D.Ed., University of Oregon - Eugene, Policy Management and Organization of Higher Education Administration


Link Lee Mansion on the campus of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TexasLink-Lee Mansion has belonged to the University of St. Thomas since our founding in 1947. In the University's infancy, it provided space for all functions.

The first floor housed the library, registrar's office and student reading room (pictured). The second floor featured a small chapel, classrooms and offices. The third floor was used for women's physical education and student dances.

Today, the mansion houses administrative offices, hosts special events and remains an integral part of the University's vibrant culture.

Link Lee Mansion on the campus of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TexasNow more than 100 years old, Link-Lee Mansion also remains an iconic symbol of the University and one of Houston's true architectural masterpieces. In 2001, it was honored as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.

A restoration and renovation effort is underway to repair damage to the facility and preserve it for generations to come.