Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J. is the twenty-third president of Marquette University. He began his duties as chief executive on August 1, 2011.
An accomplished teacher, scholar and academic administrator, Father Pilarz has earned respect and admiration for his engaging and inspiring leadership that is deeply rooted in Catholic and Jesuit values.
Father Pilarz's long commitment to Catholic education began in his youth in New Jersey and at Camden Catholic High School, where he now serves as chair of the board. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from Georgetown University in 1981, the same year that he entered the Society of Jesus. As part of his Jesuit formation, he earned a master's degree in philosophy from Fordham University and master's degrees in divinity and theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology. He was ordained a priest in 1992.
He earned his doctoral degree in English from the City University of New York, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the poetry of St. Robert Southwell, S.J., and John Donne, which won the CUNY Alumni Achievement Prize for Dissertation Excellence. While completing his doctoral studies, Father Pilarz was appointed to the English faculty at Saint Joseph's University.
An expert in early modern English literature, Father Pilarz served on the faculty of Georgetown University from 1996 to 2003 and led campus ministry efforts as university chaplain from 2002 to 2003. While at Georgetown, he was selected by the Class of 1999 to receive the Edward B. Bunn, S.J., Award for Faculty Excellence. In 2009 he received the John Carroll Award, the Georgetown Alumni Association's highest honor for achievements "that exemplify the ideals and traditions of the university." Ashgate Press published his subsequent book, Robert Southwell and the Mission of Literature, 1561–1595: Writing Reconciliation, in 2003.
Immediately before assuming the Marquette presidency, Father Pilarz served as president of The University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania, from 2003 to 2011. During his tenure, Scranton earned national recognition for academic quality, student success and community engagement. Guided by a strategic plan, the $125 million Pride, Passion, Promise Campaign added five endowed faculty chairs to help Scranton attract top scholars and funded a variety of other academic and physical improvements. Under his leadership, Scranton's campus was transformed by enhancements including a new unified science center, two student residence halls and an 118,000-square-foot campus center adjacent to a new campus green.
Father Pilarz has a strong commitment to engaging and interacting with students and serving as a mentor and counselor. Wherever he has worked as a faculty member and administrator, Father Pilarz has lived in residence halls. He presently lives in Campus Town East, a university-owned apartment building for juniors and seniors. As president, he teaches English courses regularly, welcomes students for meals, and attends student academic, athletic and social events. His dedication to students is grounded in the Ignatian concept of cura personalis, which calls for treating people with respect for their unique qualities, gifts and challenges as individuals.
Father Pilarz enjoys developing relationships with Marquette students and all members of the Marquette community.
He is the son of Joseph and Joan Pilarz, who live in Voorhees, New Jersey. His sister, Susan, and brother-in-law, Joseph Lappin, reside in Lewisville, Texas, with their two children, Carly and Joey.