Wilkes-Barre, Pa., April 25, 2022—King’s College will formally celebrate the inauguration of the College’s tenth president, Reverend Thomas P. Looney, C.S.C., Ph.D. on Friday, May 6, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. in the William. S. Scandlon Physical Education Center.
The King’s College Board of Directors announced Father Looney’s selection in early 2021 with his term beginning this past July for the 2021-2022 academic year. Father Looney succeeds Reverend John J. Ryan, C.S.C., Ph.D., who served as president for ten years and now serves in Rome, Italy, as a finance officer for the Congregation of Holy Cross.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Otisville, New York, Father Looney made his profession of final vows in 1986 and has faithfully served the College’s mission as a priest and educator. He most recently held the roles of associate vice president for academic success, college chaplain, and director of campus ministry.
The inauguration ceremony will feature greetings from Sister Mary Persico, I.H.M., Ed.D., president of Marywood University; George C. Brown, mayor of Wilkes-Barre; and the Very Reverend William M. Lies, C.S.C. the provincial superior of the United States Province of Priests and Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D., the acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education and deputy assistant for higher education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, will serve as the keynote speaker. Dr. Cooper oversees the Department’s work to support and strengthen the capacity of colleges and universities to promote innovation and improvement for students and broaden the attainment of global competencies that drive the economic success and competitiveness of the nation.
A recognized advocate for racial and economic equity, Dr. Cooper is a champion of access and success for all students in higher education and brings more than 20 years of experience to her work. Most recently, she served as the president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, where she managed the organization’s expansive research portfolio and advocacy agenda. Dr. Cooper has also held leadership positions at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Council for Independent Colleges, and King’s College. She served as the deputy director for the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance at the U.S. Department of Education.
Father Looney holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Stonehill College, a Master of Divinity from the University of St. Michael's College at the Toronto School of Theology, and a Doctorate in Theology from The Catholic University of America. He has led retreats for religious, clergy, and lay faithful throughout the United States and in India and Ghana. His extensive service to the local community includes assisting clergy by celebrating Mass in local parishes and at the State Correctional Facility in Dallas, Pennsylvania.
An Inaugural Mass will be held the day prior, Thursday, May 5, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Christ the King at the George and Giovita Maffei Family Commons. For more information about Father Looney or the inauguration, please visit kings.edu/inauguration.
Rev. Thomas P. Looney, C.S.C., Ph.D.