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Interim President, Incoming President Work as Team for a Year

Interim President, Incoming President Work as Team for a Year
Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J. H’15 is announced as the next University president in March. Fr. Pilarz will serve beginning June 2018.

Rev. Herbert Keller, S.J. H’06, rector of the Scranton Jesuit Community, is now the University’s interim president, appointed by the Board of Trustees to serve from June 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. He will be succeeded by Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J. H’15, president-elect, who is concluding his service as president of Georgetown Preparatory School in Washington, D.C., and serving as a Board member at Scranton this year. Fr. Pilarz served as Scranton’s 24th president from 2003 to 2011.

He will be succeeded by Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J. H’15, president-elect, who is concluding his service as president of Georgetown Preparatory School in Washington, D.C., and serving as a Board member at Scranton this year. Fr. Pilarz served as Scranton’s 24th president from 2003 to 2011.

“The University is most fortunate to have a seasoned Jesuit president in our midst, who knows our community, students and alumni so well,” said Lawrence R. Lynch ’81, board chair.

Fr. Keller is a member of the Board of Trustees, having served for 17 years, with tenure second only to the late Rev. J.A. Panuska, S.J., president emeritus. “I am humbled by the confidence shown to me by my fellow trustees and look forward to serving the University in any way I can,” said Fr. Keller.

Fr. Pilarz “is highly regarded as an outstanding teacher, scholar and visionary leader, who is beloved by students. We are fortunate to have him back at Scranton,” Lynch said. “On behalf of the Board, I want to thank the members of the presidential search committee for their diligence and service throughout this important process.”

While receiving an honorary degree at the 2015 undergraduate commencement, Fr. Pilarz referred to Scranton as “a place that will always be my home, a place very close to my heart.” He again referenced Scranton as home after his reappointment.

“A couple of years ago when the University was so kind to give me an honorary degree, I quoted Bon Jovi and the title of his song, ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home.’ I did not know at the time how prophetic those words would be. I am very, very happy to be home.”

“The University of Scranton is a place I love and believe in deeply,” said Fr. Pilarz, after whom the University also named an apartment and fitness center on Mulberry Street in 2011. “There’s nothing in my mind more authentically Jesuit than the mission of the University, and the way that mission is lived by the members of that community. I am returning to a University well-positioned for the future.”

Fr. Pilarz’s accomplishments at Georgetown Prep, the nation’s oldest Jesuit educational institution, include leading the 225th anniversary celebration, guiding the development of a comprehensive strategic plan and working to secure the largest gift in the school’s history, a $20 million commitment.

He spearheaded a strategic planning process during his tenure as president of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 2011 to 2013 and guided the school into the newly configured Big East Conference.

Fr. Pilarz was the fifth longest-serving president at Scranton and third longest-serving Jesuit president. Under his watch, the University earned national recognition for academic quality, community engagement and student success, achieving thenrecord admissions, undertaking the largest construction projects in its history, and expanding international mission and service opportunities. The University also earned the highly selective Community Engagement Classification designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University and a master’s degree in divinity from the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. in English at the City University of New York. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1981 and was ordained a priest in 1992.

Watch the announcement and hear from Fr. Pilarz here.
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