University Dedicates Rev. Bernard R. McIlhenny Ballroom

Oct 22, 2009

        More than 400 people gathered in the Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center recently for the dedication of the Rev. Bernard R. McIlhenny, S.J., Ballroom.

        "Father Mac" served as headmaster at Scranton Prepartory School from 1958 to 1966 and dean of admissions at The University of Scranton from 1966 to 1997.  He is currently dean of admissions emeritus at the University and minister of the Jesuit Community at Scranton.

        The dedication program featured a number of prominent Scranton alumni and local community leaders who spoke about various aspects of their friendship with Fr. McIlhenny.  The speakers were: Most Rev. James C. Timlin, D.D., H '87, Joseph A. Quinn, Jr., Esq. '63, Rev. William J. Byron, S.J., H '84, Hon. William J. Nealon, H '75, Joseph P. Bannon, M.D. '83, Tracy F. Bannon '84, Hon. Richard P. Conaboy '46, H '83, and Rev. Herbert B. Keller, S.J., H '06.

        Fr. McIlhenny was lauded for his pioneering work in the admissions office. Judge Nealon called him, "The first and best PR man for the University," crediting him with developing the "in-market" admissions strategy that continues to drive Scranton admissions. Judge Nealon recalls Fr. McIlhenny often saying that you " do not to sit and wait for students, but go meet them on their turf and show them what life is like at the University."|

        Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., president of The University of Scranton, formally dedicated The McIlhenny Ballroom and praised Fr. McIlhenny as the "rock that the University we know today was built on."  He went on to say that because of his work not only on campus but in the greater Scranton community,  that it was fitting that we name this ballroom in honor of Fr. McIlhenny in the DeNaples Center next to the Moskovitz Theater.

        "These are the giants of Scranton and forever their names will be part of our campus," said Fr. Pilarz. In addition, he noted that Fr. McIlhenny is responsible for admitting to Scranton more than two-thirds of our living alumni.

       The Rev. Bernard R. McIlhenny, S.J., Ballroom, is a multipurpose room located on the fourth floor of the Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center. It is the largest meeting space on the university's campus, and is used for assemblies, masses, meetings and more.

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