University of Scranton Board of Trustees Appoints Herbert Keller, S.J. H’06 as Interim President to Precede President-elect Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J. H’15

Apr 11, 2017
Rev. Herbert Keller, S.J. H’06
Rev. Herbert Keller, S.J. H’06

At a special meeting held Monday, April 10, the Board of Trustees of The University of Scranton appointed Rev. Herbert Keller, S.J. H’06, Rector of the Scranton Jesuit Community, to serve as Interim President 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.

“We are deeply grateful to Fr. Keller for his willingness to serve the University in this way and to the Very Rev. Robert Hussey, S.J., Provincial of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, for agreeing to mission Fr. Keller in the added role of Interim President,” said Lawrence R. Lynch ’81, Chair, Board of Trustees. “The University is most fortunate to have a seasoned Jesuit president in our midst who knows our community, students and alumni so well.”

Fr. Keller is a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, having served on the Board through various terms for 17 years. His Board tenure is second only to the late Rev. J.A. Panuska, S.J., President Emeritus.

“I am humbled by the confidence shown in me by my fellow trustees and look forward to serving the University in any way I can,” Fr. Keller said. “As a trustee and as President of Scranton Prep, I experienced firsthand the love and devotion of the entire University community to living out our Catholic and Jesuit mission.”

Working to ensure a smooth transition of leadership, Rev. Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., University President noted, “Fr. Keller is a great friend and brother Jesuit. I congratulate him on this appointment and have every confidence that he will lead the University well through this interim period.” Fr. Quinn will conclude his tenure as president on May 31, 2017.

In a related action, the Board appointed Fr. Pilarz to serve as a trustee. “In that capacity, he will be present for Board meetings and will participate in a number of significant advancement and admissions functions,” Lynch said. “Fr. Pilarz and Fr. Keller will work closely throughout the coming year to ensure that the University continues to address important strategic items.”

Fr. Keller stepped down in 2015 after a distinguished 18-year tenure as president of Scranton Preparatory School, the longest-serving president in the school’s history. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Wernersville in 1969. In 1975, he received a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy from Fordham University. He earned a master’s degree with distinction from Weston School of Theology in Boston and a professional diploma in secondary school administration from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education.

He was ordained a priest in 1981 and has served in Jesuit secondary education for 35 years. Fr. Keller was named principal of Scranton Prep in 1983 and served in that capacity for eight years. In 1991, he was appointed to his alma mater, Saint Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia, where he would serve for six years as both principal and rector of the Jesuit Community.

Fr. Keller is a past trustee of Fairfield University and Saint Joseph’s University, as well as Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School and Gonzaga College High School.  In 2006, Fr. Keller received an honorary doctoral degree from The University of Scranton.

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