BY CHRISTINA SCULLY
In a surprise announcement, Rev. Scott Pilarz, S.J., resigned Friday as the 23rd president of Marquette University after two years of serving in this position.
Before working at Marquette, RPilarz served as the president of The University from 2003 until 2011. While at The University, he launched the Pride, Passion, Promise campaign, and the school raised more than $125 million as a result of the campaign. He also facilitated the construction of many on-campus buildings and areas, including the Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center, the Dionne Green, Condron Hall, the Mulberry Street Project and the Unified Science Center (which is currently the Loyola Science Center). Additionally, more than 60 faculty members were hired over his eight-year tenure.
His move to Milwaukee, Wis., to fill the position of Marquette’s president meant serving a much larger community. Pilarz was the president at a school of more than 8,000 students. He was also teaching a class at Marquette this semester.
Pilarz’s resignation was not something the Marquette community expected. According to The Marquette Tribune, the email sent by the board of trustees to alert students of his resignation quoted Pilarz saying “after 10 years as a university president, I believe the time has come to consider other apostolic opportunities for me as a Jesuit priest. I have made this decision after much prayer, discernment and conversation with religious superiors, my spiritual director and others whose counsel I have sought over the past three years.”
Pilarz will remain the president of Marquette until Dec. 14, the end of the school’s fall semester. It is unclear which opportunities he will pursue next.
According to The Marquette Tribune, Pilarz spoke in 2011 about Jesuits always looking for new beginnings.
“Jesuits move. That’s part of who we are,” Pilarz told the Tribune. “One of the earliest Jesuits said, ‘Our home is the road.’ So it’s good for us to pick up stakes and move and start fresh.”
Wherever Pilarz’s mission as a Jesuit priest guides him next, the staff of The Aquinas and The University community wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors.
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