SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A familiar face, who helped to build the University of Scranton into what it is today, is coming home.
After a nationwide search, Father Scott Pilarz has been selected to lead one of northeastern Pennsylvania’s largest colleges once again.
Father Pilarz was the 24th president of the University of Scranton, serving from 2003 to 2011.
He left to go to Marquette University and Georgetown Prep School in Washington DC but has decided to come back to Scranton because he says this school is a place he loves and believes in.
A standing ovation greeted Father Pilarz Tuesday as he was re-introduced to the University of Scranton community.
He will now be getting a second as the school’s president.
“I tried to do a little research to see how common or uncommon that was. It’s pretty uncommon so I’m deeply grateful for the chance,” Father Scott Pilarz said.
The first time Father Pilarz was president, he helped to build the university’s student center, it’s massive science center and several residence halls. One even is named after him.
Knowing that he is coming back brought some long-time faculty members to tears.
“There could not have been a better choice! There could not have been a better choice!” Cheryl Boga, Director of Performance Music at the University of Scranton said.
Even students say they’ve heard stories of how “down to Earth” Father Pilarz was.
“I had heard stories about him from other students and from students who talked about their experiences,” Annie Kennedy, University of Scranton junior said.
When he officially returns later this year, Father Pilarz says his focus will be on making the University of Scranton affordable for students and enhancing their experience on campus.
“There are a lot students at the University of Scranton that are first-generation students. We have to keep that commitment,” Father Pilarz said.
Father Pilarz will replace the university’s current president, Rev. Kevin Quinn, who announced his plans to leave the school in June.