The Creighton University Board of Directors has elected the Rev. Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., as the University’s 24th president. Fr. Lannon, currently president of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, will assume his new position at Creighton on July 1, 2011, succeeding the Rev. John P. Schlegel, S.J., who will step down after a highly successful presidency spanning 11 years.
“The members of the Board of Directors are delighted that Fr. Lannon, a 1973 Creighton graduate, has accepted our invitation to bring his considerable talents home to his alma mater,” said Creighton University Board of Directors Chair William Fitzgerald. “We were looking for a leader with a passion for education, who also can advance the University within the framework of the current mission and values—and we found him in the person of Fr. Lannon.”
“Fr. Lannon’s commitment to scholarship, research, teaching and service to others in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition is not only the essence of his character, but central to Creighton’s ongoing pursuit of academic preeminence,” Fitzgerald added.
“We set a very high bar for what we wanted and expected in our next president, including academic excellence, executive leadership, fundraising experience and more,” said vice chair of the Creighton Board of Directors and chair of the Presidential Search Committee Bruce Rohde. “Fr. Lannon is a perfect fit.”
A nationally respected university administrator, Fr. Lannon has served as president of Saint Joseph’s University since 2003. Under his leadership, Saint Joseph’s created a university-wide strategic plan, enhanced the campus infrastructure and footprint, doubled the University’s endowment and launched the most successful fundraising campaign in its history. Collectively, these and other achievements generated national recognition for the university and its pursuit of educational excellence.
During Fr. Lannon’s tenure, Saint Joseph’s added faculty chairs and student scholarships and expanded service-learning and online curriculum opportunities, boosting the university’s academic profile. Previously, Fr. Lannon served as an associate executive vice president and vice president for University Advancement at Marquette University. He also was recognized at Marquette for his ability to build strong relationships with alumni, parents, friends and donors.
“I thank Creighton University’s Board of Directors for the tremendous honor they have bestowed on me,” Fr. Lannon said. “While at Creighton many years ago, my life was transformed. Now I have the opportunity to come home and continue the visionary momentum of this institution. I am privileged to return to Omaha and join with the administration, faculty, staff, students and dedicated alumni as we together write the next chapter of educational excellence at this great University.”
Fr. Lannon has many personal and professional connections with the Omaha community, in addition to being a Creighton alumnus. He served as president of Creighton Preparatory School from 1988 to 1995. His father graduated with a medical degree from Creighton in 1936. Fr. Lannon has been inducted into Creighton Prep’s Hall of Fame and received Creighton University’s Alumni Merit Award in 1993.
Fr. Lannon holds multiple degrees from Creighton University, Weston Jesuit School of Theology (now Boston College School of Theology and Ministry) and Harvard University. A native of Mason City, Iowa, Fr. Lannon entered the Society of Jesus in 1977 and was ordained a priest in 1986. During his early years he honed his educational and administrative skills while serving as an assistant principal and instructor at Jesuit institutions, as well as an admissions counselor at Creighton.
His commitment to service extends beyond his academic appointments and includes current membership on the boards of Boston College, Santa Clara University, Marquette University and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, for which he chairs its board. From 2003 to 2008 he served as a board member, and since 2008 as chair, of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, comprised of the 28 Jesuit higher education institutions in the United States.
He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Creighton in 1973. He received master’s degrees in divinity and theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology and earned a master’s degree and doctorate in administration, planning and social policy in higher education from Harvard University.