Saint Patrick Alum Dan Santucci Named School’s Next President
Former NFL Lineman and University of Notre Dame Development Director Returns to Lead Alma Mater
(Chicago, IL, February 3, 2021) – The Board of Trustees at Saint Patrick High School, Chicago’s oldest all-boys Catholic high school, announced today the appointment of Daniel A. Santucci ’02 as the school’s next president. Santucci, a former National Football League (NFL) player and experienced development director at the University of Notre Dame, becomes the third president in Saint Patrick’s 160-year history after the president/principal model was adopted in 1987.
“It is an honor to be named the next president of Saint Patrick High School. My education at Saint Patrick gave me a great foundation for my careers in the NFL and at Notre Dame and I will work hard to ensure that opportunity is there for young men to further their faith in a high-achieving, competitive academic environment for many years to come,” said Santucci, whose term will begin on July 1, 2021.
Santucci replaces Dr. Joseph G. Schmidt, AFSC, who will transition into a new ambassador role with the school this summer after serving in his 54th year at Saint Patrick. Schmidt called his successor “a spirited leader with the integrity, courage and can-do attitude” needed to lead Saint Patrick High School into the future.
“Dan embodies what it means to be a Shamrock and our school community will benefit from his energy, his experience and his commitment to Catholic education,” said Schmidt, who has served as Saint Patrick’s president since 2013. “We are blessed to welcome Dan back to Saint Patrick as the school’s next president during this important time in our history.”
Born and raised in Harwood Heights, where he attended St. Francis Borgia grammar school on Chicago’s Northwest Side, Santucci attended the University of Notre Dame on a full athletic scholarship after he graduated from Saint Patrick. A four-year letterman for the Fighting Irish’s storied football program, Santucci earned his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in 2006. The following spring, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Santucci in the seventh round (230th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft. An offensive guard, Santucci enjoyed a four-year NFL career with the Bengals and Carolina Panthers. His Bengals jersey hangs in the Saint Patrick gymnasium alongside those of three other Shamrock alumni who enjoyed NFL careers.
After leaving professional football, Santucci returned to the University of Notre Dame, where he currently serves as Senior Regional Director of Development. A proven fundraiser, Santucci is respected for his ability to build, cultivate and maintain relationships that further the mission of an institution.
“I could never adequately sing the praises of Dan Santucci,” said Louis Nanni, Vice President for University Relations at University of Notre Dame. “He is a superb leader and a person of infinite integrity and compassion. A huge loss to Notre Dame and a wonderful champion for his beloved Saint Patrick. I’m confident that under Dan’s leadership this will be a terrific era for your school community.”
In September, the Saint Patrick Board of Trustees and the Christian Brothers of the Midwest began a search for the school’s next president following the announcement of Schmidt’s decision to transition out of the role at the end of the 2020-21 school year. The Board of Trustees appointed a search committee and hired Educational Directions, a nationally recognized consulting firm, to conduct a nationwide search.
“Dan represents everything we had hoped to find in a candidate – intelligent, principled, ambitious and committed to the mission of Saint Patrick High School and Catholic education,” said Saint Patrick Board of Trustees Vice Chairman and Search Committee Chair Gregory P. Josefowicz ’70.
Santucci credits his parents with instilling in him and his three siblings, including brother Paul, a 1997 graduate of Saint Patrick who serves on the school’s Alumni Board, the importance of a Catholic education. He understands the sacrifices parents make to send their young men to Saint Patrick and the trust they put in the institution to shepherd their sons’ personal development.
“From St. Francis Borgia to St. Pat’s to the University of Notre Dame, I have only known academic excellence in Catholic education,” Santucci said. “As a proud alum of Saint Patrick, I am committed to fostering a winning mindset in everything we do – academics, athletics, the arts, service and more, carrying on the Shamrock tradition and furthering the Catholic Lasallian mission in our school and community.”
Santucci and his wife, Meredith, are the proud parents of five children (Johnny, 12; Avery, 10; Luke, 7; Abigail 5; and Andrew, 3).
ABOUT SAINT PATRICK HIGH SCHOOL
Now in its 160th year, Saint Patrick High School’s mission is to provide an educational experience of the highest quality which enables young men to develop their maximum potential as lifelong learners and assets to society and the Church. Saint Patrick, currently operating under a hybrid learning model, welcomes students of other religious beliefs, varying academic abilities, and diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. Students reside in the city of Chicago and nearby suburbs and come from more than 70 different elementary schools.
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