Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., the institution’s first lay chief executive, was inaugurated president of Saint Joseph’s University on September 18, 2015. More than 1,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni, elected officials and delegates from throughout higher education witnessed the ceremony following the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit.
“We must think anew and act anew,” Dr. Reed stated in his inaugural address, quoting Abraham Lincoln. “I have found a near universal desire on the part of members of the Saint Joseph’s community to model Lincoln’s wisdom. The challenge of course is moving from words to action, but I am confident we are and will be doing just that.”
Dr. Reed, formerly senior vice president at Fairfield University in Connecticut and a graduate of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia, was missioned in his new role by Fr. Robert M. Hussey, S.J., Provincial of the Maryland Province Jesuits.
“I charge you, Dr. Reed, as the 28th president and director of this Jesuit work, to shepherd well the Society’s apostolate, to remember always the Society’s commitment to the service of faith and the promotion of justice, and to sustain and enhance the Catholic and Jesuit identity of the University,” Fr. Hussey proclaimed.
Ann E. Green, Ph.D., professor of English and president of the Faculty Senate, spoke on behalf of the Saint Joseph’s faculty. “We do not achieve the Magis when we work for our own individual gains, but rather when we strive for the best option for our students, for the greater good, for the greater glory of God,” she said. “We welcome you, Mark Reed, to an extraordinary place at an extraordinary moment where there are many opportunities to choose between the many goods of this faculty, this staff, these students and this extraordinary Philadelphia community.”
As he was invested by Board chair Edward W. Moneypenny ’64, Dr. Reed was flanked by former Saint Joseph’s presidents Nicholas S. Rashford, S.J. (1986-2003), Timothy R. Lannon, S.J. (2003-2011), and C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J. '72 (2012-15). Fr. Rashford offered the ceremony’s invocation.
“May your leadership of this work assume a proper space in your life as husband, father and Jesuit university president,” he said. “Instead of burdening you, may it challenge and uplift you, bringing you every day further into the wonder of His will.”
Dr. Reed concluded his address by invoking Pope Francis, on the cusp of the Pontiff’s historic visit to Philadelphia. “As we move forward as a University, let us commit to following Francis’ example individually and collectively,” he said. “We must challenge ourselves to be open to the possibilities — however energizing or unsettling — to which the examination of our individual and collective consciences can lead. Let us pledge to approach institutional problems with a sense of personal detachment from the outcome, asking primarily what is for the greater good of Saint Joseph’s University."