• 1947: The Academy grew out of the National Benedictine Educational Association and was initiated by the American-Cassinese Congregation of monks, 30 December 1947.
  • 1948: First meeting of the board of the Academy at St. Meinrad, Indiana. First sectional meetings, which were in a variety of academic disciplines.
  • 1950: The Academy began publication of the American Benedictine Review.
  • 1972: The governing structure of the Academy was simplified. The sectional structure of the Academy was replaced by a single grouping.
  • 1975: The American Benedictine Review was separately incorporated.
  • 1978: The focus of meetings shifted from academic fields to “Benedictine Heritage and Culture.”
  • 1982: Membership was declared open to anyone who had a serious interest in Benedictinism.
  • 1984: The Academy’s archive was established at the St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, Minnesota, which became the legal address of the Academy as a not-for-profit corporation.
  • 1995: The ABA website was launched on 2 December 1995.
  • 1998: The Academy observed its fiftieth anniversary at its biennial convention at St. Vincent’s Archabbey, 9-12 August 1998.
  • 2000: First pre-convention web workshop at St. Meinrad’s Archabbey.
  • 2004: First CD publication of ABA convention 2002 Proceedings: “Mentors and Mentoring: Refounding the Tradition.”
  • 2012: The Academy elects its first president from an ecumenical community, Martin Shannon of the Community of Jesus.
  • 2016: Mercy Sister Julia Upton is the first Oblate president elected.


Presidents are elected from the membership every two years at the annual convention. Presidents since 2000 have been:

1998-2000 – Eugene Hensell, OSB

2000-2002 – Valerian Odermann, OSB 

2002-2004 – Rosemary Rader, OSB

2004-2006 – Richard Oliver, OSB

2006-2008 – Theresa Schumacher, OSB

2008-2010 – Jacquelyn Ernster, OSB

2010-2012 – Laura Swan, OSB

2012-2014 – Martin Shannon, Community of Jesus

2014-2016 – Susan Quaintance, OSB

2016-2018 – Julie Upton, RSM (Oblate OSB)

2018-2020 – Antoinette Purcell, OSB

2020-2022 – Rev. Greg Peters, OblSB