SAN ANTONIO- Due to the upcoming retirement of President Dr. Diane Melby, Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) revealed their newly appointed tenth President. 

OLLU announced on Jan. 27 that Dr. Abel Chávez will officially join the university on July 16, 2022.

While there were many qualified candidates, as a first-generation college student and the son of immigrants, it was felt that Dr. Chávez has the potential to establish connections with faculty and students since their backgrounds are likely to be similar.

Having vast experience in higher education, business, engineering, and global research, Dr. Chavez is considered a successful leader. Currently, he is the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success at Western Colorado University.

Dr. Chávez is acquainted with Texas as he has previously served as a project manager for Anheuser-Busch in Houston and also worked for Dow Chemical in Freeport.

“Here is my impression after meeting him for a short time,” said Dr. Melby, soon to be former president. “He is a person that our students will identify with and be inspired by. Like our students, he is a person who has been taught to work hard, to look for opportunity in the face of limitation, and to stretch himself beyond what is expected.”

The departure of Dr. Diane Melby marks a bittersweet moment for her. Even though this will be her final semester at OLLU, she is looking forward to the next chapter of her life.

“I am excited to play with my grandchildren: Jude who is five, Ferris who is two, and Josie who is three months old,” Dr. Melby said. 

During her reign, Dr. Melby worked hard to make OLLU a welcoming place for students, faculty and staff.

“Our students, faculty, and staff are incredibly smart and creative; and he can trust that they will walk by his side as he leads OLLU to an even greater future.”

Dr. Melby is confident Dr. Chavez will be embraced into the OLLU family.

Photo credit: Courtesy / OLLU

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