Office of the President – Lucas Lamadrid, Ph.D.


Marymount California University is unlike any other higher education institution in the country. I have met with and consulted with hundreds of colleges and universities throughout my career. I believe that MCU is the best in the world at meeting students where they are and taking them to where they will succeed.

Here are three reasons why this is the case:

Real World Learning: It used to be that students went to college to prepare for the real world. At MCU the real world is what you encounter from the get-go. Our business students work directly with entrepreneurs and learn how to turn a dime into a dollar; our film studies majors direct their own films and enter them in contests; our digital media and arts students form teams that create promotional materials as consultants for clients; our science majors are working directly with non-profit organizations and businesses on clean energy, aquaculture, environmental improvements. When you graduate no one cares how much ivy your buildings had or how your football team did last season—they want to know what have you done; what have you accomplished; and can you get up to speed quickly. With MCU you hit the ground running.

Catholic Tradition: We are anchored in the Catholic tradition. So no matter what your background or faith perspective, you will be welcomed, respected, and included. And you will learn the foundations of this tradition as well. But there’s an extra benefit that flows from our Catholic tradition—every student is sacred; each student is valued; no student is ignored, bypassed, or pushed to the margins. As a result, we are a caring and supportive community that treasures each person made in the image of God.

Inspiring Location: So at times you’ll be stressed with so much work, so many new decisions, so many worries—hey, that’s college life. But just take a deep breath and sit down in one of the Adirondack chairs and look at the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. You can feel your heart rate lower, placing things in perspective. Or it’s Friday afternoon and you want to go to a café in San Pedro with your friends and talk about your paddle-boarding trip for Saturday morning in the bay to see if you can spot a whale in migration.  Maybe on Sunday you’ll have dim sum in Hollywood and spend the afternoon at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.  This is California—it’s part of our name. Just living here is a beautiful and inspiring experience.

We are the MCU Mariners. Our symbol is the anchor, that classical Christian icon of hope. So it is my prayer and hope that you will join this special place, Marymount California University, to learn and grow in wisdom, faith, and hope.

We’ve been waiting for you.

Dr L


Lucas Lamadrid, Ph.D., received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and English at Marquette University, a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Doctorate from the Graduate Program in Religion at Duke University. He began his career at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, where he served as assistant dean of students and taught in the philosophy, theology, and communications departments. While at Bellarmine, he developed a new course on religion in film that was highly popular, grew the residential population by 44 percent and raised substantial funds for a student leadership program. He has published articles in Modern Theology and The Heythrop Journal; edited a book for Oxford University Press; and written and presented on collaboration between academic and student affairs, the first-year student experience, the role of parents of college students and the value of Catholic higher education.

Lamadrid is married to Beth Kreitzer, Ph.D., an expert on 16th century history, who grew up in Porterville, California, and attended Stanford University for her undergraduate studies. They have three children—Claire, Grace and John Carlos—and are currently active parishioners in St. John Fisher Church in Rancho Palos Verdes.

In his last role before joining Marymount as its seventh president, Lamadrid served as a senior executive managing the higher education division of a private company that specializes in the recruitment of international students. Prior to his entering the private sector, he served as vice president for enrollment and student affairs at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina, and as vice president and chief student officer at Saint Vincent College, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. As a senior administrator at both institutions, Lamadrid achieved historically high student enrollment; improved the academic quality of the student body; increased student retention; raised significant funds for the improvement of student life; and recorded high levels of student satisfaction.