By CRAIG CONWAY Warwick native Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. will be the next president of St. John's University in Queens, N.Y. according to the St. John's official website. An 18-member committee representing a cross-section of St. John's University
Warwick native Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. will be the next president of St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y. according to the St. John’s official website.
An 18-member committee representing a cross-section of St. John’s University constituencies, including faculty, students, administrators, and current and emiriti members of the Board of Trustees, held an extensive search.
Following the search, a unanimous election was made for Fr. Shanley to become the 18th President of the University, whose tenure is set to begin on February 1, 2021.
“I am honored and delighted to be elected by the Board of Trustees to serve the St. John’s community as President of the University,” Fr. Shanley said in a statement released by St. John’s. “I have long admired St. John’s commitment to the founding mission set forth by the Vincentian community to provide a Catholic education for first generation students in a diverse and inclusive environment. I look forward to leading our community to remain committed to that mission amidst the unique challenges of the current times.”
Fr. Shanley was the president of Providence College from 2005-2020 before leaving earlier this year. He was the College’s 12th and longest-serving president and is credited with making vast improvements to campus facilities and student services. He also played a key role in hiring large numbers of new faculty, diversifying the student body, and strengthening the College’s national profile in academics and athletics.
PC’s board of trustees unanimously supported another five-year term for Fr. Shanley, but his religious superior, Fr. Kenneth Letoile, O.P. thought that 15 years was long enough. Fr. Letoile is the Provincial of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph, (based in NYC) which oversees Providence College.
PC’s current president Fr. Kenneth R. Sicard was complimentary of Fr. Shanley in the statement he gave to St. John’s. “I am thrilled for Fr. Shanley. He was such an impactful president during his 15-year tenure at Providence College,” he said. “He was an amazing colleague, friend and mentor to me.”
Fr. Shanley graduated from Toll Gate High School before continuing his education at Providence College.