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The First 100+ Days of a Presidency

 The First 100+ Days of a Presidency

This summer, Fr. Marina met his new colleagues and University community members, settled into his new home on campus and got to work, all amidst a global pandemic. Nonetheless, he began his tenure with grace and purpose. Here are some highlights from his first few months on the job.

Meeting alumni.

carlesimo-first-day.jpgOn his first official day as president, Fr. Marina, attended the Carlesimo Award Dinner in honor of legendary golf coach Ed Karpovich ’76, G’86, and met several alumni in person.

“Under Ed’s great coaching, golf at Scranton has achieved nearly 400 wins,” Marina said. “Absolutely amazing. He’s obviously touched countless lives for the better. 

Staff and faculty meet and greet.

staff-and-faculty-meet-and-greet.jpgStaff and faculty met with Fr. Marina just a few days after he began his tenure.

“I was quite impressed by the turnout but more so by the love you have for Scranton and how obvious and authentic it truly is,” he told them later.

A new Royal!

june-2021-orientation.jpg“I feel like a first-year student,” he said in a local news segment about Orientation. “As I said to them a few minutes ago, I really do feel like I’m going to have a special bond with this particular class because we are starting together.”  

Administrative duties.

James M. Slattery ’86, chair of the Board of Trustees, visited the new president in his second week in office to “show his support and help me settle in,” said Fr. Marina. One order of business was to elect two new Jesuit trustees: Rev. Angelo Joseph (A.J.) Rizzo, S.J. ’03, the new president of Scranton Prep, and Rev. Tom Neitzke, S.J., the new dean of Arrupe College of Loyola Chicago University. You can read about all the new trustees on page 11 of this magazine.

Scranton’s story.

grant.jpgThe University was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to support “Scranton’s Story, Our Nation’s Story,” a two-year project that seeks to capture the story of Scranton’s indigenous, political, ethnic and religious heritage and relate it to the national narrative of the United States.

“The humanities play an integral part of the transformational nature of the Jesuit education we provide to our students. This project will give our students and the greater community a more profound understanding of the human transformations that have occurred in the lives of Scrantonians and Americans,” said Fr. Marina at the announcement.

500 years.

banner.jpgFr. Marina announced that Scranton would join the works of the Society of Jesus around the globe in celebrating the Ignatian Year, the 500th anniversary of St. Ignatius’ conversion. He also celebrated the Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola on July 31:

“I hope you will find much consolation and grace in remembering that our University is a strategic and integral part of a dynamic mission that goes back nearly five centuries and, with God’s help, will continue for many more to come.” 

Reflecting on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11.

9.11.jpgFr. Marina wrote to the community: “As we mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, let us recall in memory and prayer our faithful alumni, family and friends who lost their lives on this tragic day. Let us pray for peace and understanding in a world still filled with unrest. Let us also pray for our students today and the faculty and staff who educate and serve them. May they may go into the world as a voice calling for peace and justice and change the world for the betterment of all.”  

Hispanic Heritage Month.

Marking a month of celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Fr. Marina remembered the Martyrs of El Salvador and “the prominent ways that we connect our campus to the culture and heritage of Mexico, Central and South America,” including Martyr’s Grove, “just steps from the entrance to Campion Hall.” In a note to the community, Fr. Marina quoted the late St. Oscar Romero who said, “We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.”

Pet Therapy.


A biannual tradition at Scranton is Pet Therapy, through which animals help ease the stress of the University’s students before exams.

This year, amidst the ongoing pandemic, students welcomed the event with enthusiasm. Fr. Marina joined them.

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