Joseph Allan Panuska, S. J.
Joseph Allan Panuska, president of the University of Scranton from July 1982 through June 1998, was born July 3, 1927 in Baltimore Maryland. He studied at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and went on to the Biology program at the Jesuit-run Loyola College in Baltimore. Throughout his college years he felt a religious calling and in 1948 he joined the Society of Jesus. He continued his education at St. Louis University, where he received a licentiate in philosophy and a doctorate in biology. He was ordained into the priesthood in 1960 at Woodstock College in Maryland and also received a licentiate from Woodstock in 1961. Panuska finished his Jesuit tertianship in 1962 in Muenster Germany.
His specialty of low temperature biology research, specifically hypothermia and natural hibernation, landed him appointments at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and Cambridge University in England. Beginning in 1963 he taught biology at Georgetown University for 10 years and served as director of the Jesuit community. He then served as provincial of the seven state Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus for six years. His next stop was Boston College in 1979 where he served for three years as academic Vice-President and dean of faculties.
On July 1,1982, two days before his 55th birthday, Rev. J. A. Panuska, S. J. became the 22nd president of the University of Scranton. He served as president of University for 16 years, the longest tenure of any president in the school’s history. He led the University through a significant physical expansion as well as a substantial increase in the number of faculty and an improvement in the University's reputation for academic excellence. More than 110 million dollars was spent in the construction of 15 new buildings and in the renovation of existing facilities. Since 1983 the University has been ranked consistently as one of the top small universities of the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states. In February 1997 Fr. Panuska announced that he was resigning at the end of the 1997-98 academic year. After resigning from the presidency, Fr. Panuska became Rector of the Jesuit community in Wernersville Pennsylvania.
Fax: (570) 941-7817
Email: Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian