Creighton University will celebrate the official arrival of its 24th president, Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., on Aug. 1 with a noon Mass for the University community at St. John’s Church on campus. The Mass will be followed immediately by a campus-wide picnic.
“I am eager for the academic year to begin,” Fr. Lannon said. “The Creighton faculty and staff bring our mission to life and make an outstanding education possible for our students.”
Fr. Lannon, who graduated from Creighton in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, is the first alumnus to head the University. He succeeds John P. Schlegel, S.J., who retired June 30.
A nationally respected university administrator, Fr. Lannon most recently served as president of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia since 2003. Previously, he was an associate executive vice president and vice president for University Advancement at Marquette University.
“I have learned throughout my educational experience that success rests on the shoulders of the team with which you are privileged to serve and work,” Fr. Lannon said. “At Creighton, that foundation has been forged by great leaders for more than 132 years. I am humbled and privileged to be joining their ranks.”
The formal installation of Fr. Lannon as president will take place on Friday, Sept. 30, at 4 p.m. at the Kiewit Fitness Center on campus.
The new president will lead a University that enrolls more than 4,200 undergraduate and more than 3,400 professional school and graduate students, has nine schools and colleges, an academic medical center and clinical operations, and a campus footprint that spans more than 130 acres in Omaha, with auxiliary campuses in Hastings, Neb., Phoenix, Ariz., and Anchorage, Alaska.
Fr. Lannon has many personal and professional connections with the Omaha community. He served as president of Creighton Preparatory School from 1988 to 1995, was inducted into Creighton Prep’s Hall of Fame and received Creighton University’s Alumni Merit Award in 1993. He received Creighton’s highest student honor, the Spirit of Creighton Award, in 1973.
A native of Mason City, Iowa, Fr. Lannon entered the Society of Jesus in 1977 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He received master’s degrees in divinity and theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology (now Boston College School of Theology and Ministry) and earned a master’s degree and doctorate in administration, planning and social policy from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University and a professional diploma from Fordham University.
During his early years, Fr. Lannon sharpened 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 includes current membership on the boards of Boston College, Santa Clara University, Marquette University and past membership on the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania. 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 has studied, written and presented extensively on the topic of Catholic identity at American universities.