February 9, 2021
“I take this opportunity to congratulate Rev. Joseph G. Marina, S.J., Ph.D., on being selected to serve as the 28th president of The University of Scranton. As we welcome him to northeastern Pennsylvania, I also ask everyone to join me in praying for God’s continued grace and health for Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., who will conclude his remarkable second tenure as president.
“Father Marina brings a vast array of experience that will affirm the Catholic and Jesuit values upon which The University of Scranton has already been built. We are blessed that he has chosen to share his unique gifts and experiences with the students, faculty and staff of The University of Scranton.
“With a proven track record of being a knowledgeable and respected voice in higher education, Father Marina’s presence will serve The University of Scranton well as it continues to distinguish itself as an academically rigorous, socially responsible learning community where students become men and women for others.
“Rooted in Our Lord’s love and mercy, we ask God’s blessing on Father Marina, that he be filled with the strength, wisdom and courage needed to take on this new role.”
The University of Scranton Names 28th President
Rev. Joseph G. Marina, S.J., provost and vice president for academic affairs at Le Moyne College, Syracuse, N.Y., will serve as the 28th president of The University of Scranton. James M. Slattery ’86, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, made the announcement to the University community today. Father Marina, who will take office in the summer, will succeed Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., ’H15, whose second term as president ends at the close of the 2020-2021 academic year.
“Father Marina brings to Scranton his unique experience as teacher, pastor, scholar and school administrator with more than 20 years of experience in higher education,” said Slattery. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank the members of the presidential search committee for their careful work in leading us through the search process to its successful conclusion.”
“Father Marina has a special dedication to Catholic and Jesuit higher education, and a pastoral approach to leadership that is grounded in his faith, in Ignatian spirituality and in a call for justice. He will further Scranton’s commitment to provide a transformative education, rooted in the liberal arts, and will guide our students to become ‘men and women for and with others,’” said Father Pilarz.
“I am humbled and honored to be chosen as The University of Scranton’s next president and to succeed Father Pilarz who has with his colleagues on campus fostered such a strong foundation on which to build Scranton’s future success,” said Father Marina. “From day one as a Jesuit I have heard time and again how seriously Scranton takes its mission and identity. What strikes me most is how students excel with the help of the authentic commitment of faculty and staff. As we take this journey together beginning this summer, the wonderful truth remains that anything and everything we do at Scranton should be and will be done for our students first. Our shared focus is precisely where it belongs, on our students and their success.”
Father Marina was selected following a national search, which began in August with the appointment of a broadly representative search committee that included trustees and representatives from the faculty, staff, student body, alumni and administration. University Trustee Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Ph.D. ‘93, G’93, H’19, served as chair of the search committee.
“On behalf of the search committee, I want to say how pleased and excited we are that Father Marina has agreed to lead our beloved University,” said Dr. Sprows Cummings. “I am so very grateful to my colleagues on the committee for their thoughtfulness and dedication throughout the search process. Father Marina has our full and enthusiastic support as he prepares to begin his service this summer.”
Since 2016, Father Marina has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs and professor of education at Le Moyne College, where he oversees the Jesuit college’s three academic schools, honors program, library, campus life, student housing, conduct and Title IX compliance, diversity and inclusion programming, global education, student success and support services, disability services, and several other areas. Previously at Le Moyne, he held positions as associate provost, interim chair of the education department and special assistant to the president.
On Feb. 12, he will conclude just over two months serving as acting president at Le Moyne while Linda M. LeMura, Ph.D., president, is a Chancellor’s Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Syracuse University.
“I commend The University of Scranton for selecting Father Marina as its next president,” said Dr. LeMura. “Joe has been a vital part of Le Moyne’s success over the past five years. Among his accomplishments as provost are the continued growth of graduate programs, including the launch of our first doctoral program in Educational Leadership, his work on our strategic plan Sempre Avanti, and the establishment of the Quantitative Reasoning Center and the Writing Center. On a personal level, he has been a confidant, friend and wonderful colleague. I wish him nothing but the best in his new role.”
His prior experience includes serving as the dean of the School of Continuing Education at Providence College, assistant dean for the College of Science and Mathematics at Montclair State University, and assistant dean for Metropolitan College at St. John’s University. In addition, he taught religious studies at Providence College and mathematics at St. John’s University. He served as pastor of the Church of St. Francis Xavier in New York City and as associate pastor of the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, also in New York City.
Father Marina is currently a trustee at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, New York, and Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York, where he is chair of the board’s governance committee. He previously served on the boards of St. Thomas Aquinas College, Regis University, Canisius College, Xavier High School and Le Moyne College.
His research interests include leadership and organizational change, and, in the area of theology, scripture and the question of non-belief. His presentations include “Inner-city Healthcare and Higher Education: A Partnership in Catholic Social Teaching,” “Graduate and Continuing Education in the Jesuit Tradition” and “Educational Delivery System Options: Programs to Attract and Retain and Educate Adult Students.”
Father Marina holds a Doctor of Philosophy in administration and supervision from Fordham University, a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from Boston College and a Master of Science in Secondary Education from St. John’s University. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Sciences, with a theology minor, from St. John’s University.
Father Marina entered the Society of Jesus in 2004 and was ordained to the priesthood in 2012.
Rev. Joseph M. O’Keefe, S.J., Provincial of the East Coast Province of the Society of Jesus remarked, “I will be delighted to mission Fr. Marina to Scranton. He will bring a wealth of experience as an academic administrator and a pastor. He has a tremendous ability to articulate the Jesuit education vision, and he has the requisite management skills to make that vision a reality.”
Founded in 1888, The University of Scranton is a Catholic and Jesuit institution located in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Northeast with an enrollment of nearly 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Scranton consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, The Princeton Review and others. Scranton is known for the outstanding success of its graduates.