Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., passed away yesterday, March 10, at the age of 61 from complications related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Father Pilarz was the president of Marquette University from 2011 to 2013, during which he spearheaded a strategic planning process and also guided the university into the newly configured Big East athletic conference.
“Father Pilarz brought Marquette’s mission to life as a passionate educator, thoughtful leader and devoted man of faith,” President Michael R. Lovell said. “His legacy extends through the many lives he touched and through the invaluable groundwork he laid to establish our strategic plan, which will continue to guide the university into its bright future for years to come. He was a true servant leader in the Marquette community. Our prayers are with Father Pilarz’s family and friends during this sad time.”
Most recently Father Pilarz was the president of The University of Scranton, where he served two terms: first as the 24th President from 2003-2011; then as the 27th President from 2018-2021. He was the second-longest- serving president in Scranton’s history.
Always a teacher at heart, Father Pilarz found time throughout his career—during his various administrative positions—to teach courses and seminars focused on Shakespeare, Renaissance poetry and prose, and Jesuit education.
He announced his ALS diagnosis in 2018, committing himself to continued service and to raising awareness about the disease.
A private Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 13. The Mass will be available for viewing online. More information will be shared once available.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to The Scott R. Pilarz, S.J. Scholarship that will provide financial assistance to University of Scranton students in need.
Please remember Father Pilarz, his family and friends in prayer.