MASON CITY — The Rev. Tim Lannon, S.J., a Mason City native, was elected the 24th president of Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.
Lannon, 59, president of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, will join Creighton on July 1, 2011, the university said Friday.
He will succeed the Rev. John P. Schlegel, S.J., who has led the Catholic and Jesuit university for 11 years.
Lannon is a 1969 graduate of Newman Catholic High School in Mason City. He graduated from Creighton in 1973 and holds a doctorate from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1977 and was ordained a priest in 1986.
“While at Creighton many years ago, my life was transformed. Now I have the opportunity to come home and continue the visionary momentum of this institution,” he said. “I am privileged to return to Omaha and join with the administration, faculty, staff, students and dedicated alumni as we together write the next chapter of educational excellence at this great university.”
Lannon, president of Creighton Preparatory School from 1988 to 1995, received Creighton University’s Alumni Merit Award in 1993.
He was an associate executive vice president and vice president for University Advancement at Marquette University in Milwaukee before coming to Saint Joseph’s.
There he created a university-wide strategic plan, enhanced the campus infrastructure and footprint, doubled the university’s endowment and launched its the most successful fundraising campaign, according to Creighton.
Saint Joseph’s also has added faculty chairs and student scholarships and expanded service-learning and online curriculum opportunities during his tenure.
Since 2008 Lannon has chaired the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities comprised of the nation’s 28 Jesuit higher education institutions.
Creighton has about 7,400 students.
“The members of the Board of Directors are delighted that Father Lannon has accepted our invitation to bring his considerable talents home to his alma mater,” said Creighton University Board of Directors Chairman William Fitzgerald. “We were looking for a leader with a passion for education who also can advance the university within the framework of the current mission and values — and we found him in the person of Father Lannon.”
Expectations were high for prospective presidents, “including academic excellence, executive leadership, fundraising experience and more,” said Bruce Rohde, vice chairman of the Creighton Board of Directors and chairman of the Presidential Search Committee.
“Father Lannon is a perfect fit,” he said.