WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Wilkes University President Patrick F. Leahy will leave the institution at the end of the 2018-19 academic year to become the next President of Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey.

“This is not a decision my family and I made lightly,” Leahy said in a statement “mainly due to the wonderful relationships we have established in and around Wilkes-Barre and the Wilkes Community.”

The announcement came today in a letter sent to students, faculty and staff Friday by Dan Cardell, the chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees:

“I am writing today to announce that Patrick F. Leahy has accepted the position of President at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Pat informed the Board of Trustees that he will remain at Wilkes through the academic year, with his last day being July 31, 2019.   


During Pat’s tenure, Wilkes University has experienced unparalleled growth and success. In 2014, he oversaw the creation of the Gateway to the Future Strategic Plan, which has guided us in our pursuit to become one of the finest small universities in the nation. Academically, Wilkes offers more programs than ever before, ranging from the competitive undergraduate Honors Program to the University’s first Ph.D. Under his leadership, co-curricular offerings have been enriched, including a significant reinvestment in the Sordoni Art Gallery, the establishment of the region’s first marching band, and the addition of seven new athletic teams. Pat directed an extensive $100 million capital enhancement initiative that has transformed the physical landscape of campus and better integrated Wilkes into the surrounding downtown. An accomplished fundraiser, Pat instituted the Founders Gala and First Generation Scholarship Fund in support of our students, while dramatically increasing the amount of financial support Wilkes receives from both private donors and public funding sources. He also launched the Gateway to the Future Capital Campaign, which is nearing completion two years ahead of schedule.


Among this list of accomplishments, I am most proud of the culture of collaboration and sense of pride that Pat has cultivated among our campus community during his seven years at Wilkes. On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, I extend my sincere thanks to Pat for his visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to Wilkes University. 


Later this academic year, we will all have the opportunity to say farewell to the Leahys. I look forward to updating you in the coming weeks about the Board’s plans for the recruitment of Wilkes University’s seventh president. 




Dan Cardell
Chair, Wilkes University Board of Trustees”

Leahy was appointed the sixth president of the University in 2012 and two years later launched his “Gateway to the Future” strategic plan. 

“I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished at Wilkes over the past several years” Leahy said “and I look forward to continuing this exciting process in coming months.”

A native of Towson, MD, Leahy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Georgetown University, earned dual masters degrees from Cornell and earned a Doctor of Education Degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

He came to Wilkes from the University of Scranton where he served as Executive Vice President from 2004-12.