Seton Hall University’s President-Elect, Dr. Joseph Nyre visited all three of the university’s campuses on February 22, when the entire Seton Hall community came together to welcome him and his family. He started the day on the South Orange campus, where faculty, administrators, students, and friends of the University convened to welcome him.
The ceremony began with the National Anthem performed by the Seton Hall University Chamber Choir, remarks from Interim Provost Dr. Karen Boroff, and an invocation by Monsignor Ziccardi. Then the President of the Board of Regents, Patrick Murray, gave his remarks about the selection process of Dr. Nyre, noting his unanimous selection by the search committee. The ceremony continued with a speech from Dr. Nyre himself and current Interim President Dr. Mary Meehan. It finished with a benediction from Reverend Dennehy, and the “Alma Mater” performed by the Gentlemen of the Hall.
Dr. Nyre’s speech was filled with respect for the institution as well as the people who currently work to make Seton Hall a great university. As a first-generation college student, Dr. Nyre knows personally the life changing effects that a college education can have on a student’s life. At a university with a large population of first-generation college students, including current Interim President Dr. Meehan, this perspective is vital to leading the institution.
Dr. Nyre also remarked on the importance of allowing the university to be a place in which students can discuss and grapple society’s questions. He said, “wisdom is knowing what to do, virtue is doing it. May we teach both.” Dr. Nyre closed his speech with remarks about elevating the university to new heights of inclusion, accessibility, learning, growth, and modernization. He quoted a statement made in the centenary anniversary of Seton Hall’s foundation, which stated that the university’s greatness “lies in the hearts and minds of dedicated and devoted faculty.”
The President-Elect left a great impression upon attendees of the ceremony. Tela Wittig, a current senior and member of the Student Alumni Association, stated that Seton Hall needs a president, “who respects students, faculty, and administrators alike, and has an inspiring vision for the future of Seton Hall. This will continue to progress the great work Dr. Meehan has accomplished during her tenure as interim President.”
The President-Elect’s day continued with visits to the Law School and Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campuses. At all locations, he was welcomed by the members of the Seton Hall community that he will be leading as of August 1 of this year. Sophomore and member of the Student Alumni Association, Dalton Allison, stated, “Friday was a fantastic event at IHS. There is clear support for the new president, and evident excitement amongst him and his family. By listening to him speak, you could tell that he has a vision for the university, and will stop at nothing to reach that vision.”
During his time as President of Iona College, he tripled the school’s endowment, reduced tuition dependency, connected with students, funded new scholarships, broke fundraising records, expanded the campus, introduced a new core curriculum, and oversaw the creation of new academic programs. The skills and experience he brings to Seton Hall will be critical to the university’s continued growth. It will be exciting to see Dr. Nyre assume his new role as President and pirate ship captain next fall.