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Photo via Laurie Pine, director of Media Relations.

BREAKING: Monsignor Joseph R. Reilly named Seton Hall’s 22nd President

The Board of Regents has named Monsignor Joseph R. Reilly as Seton Hall’s 22nd president, concluding a months-long search.

According to Seton Hall’s bylaws, the University’s president must be a Roman Catholic priest. However, an exception can be made if the individual is a practicing Roman Catholic, which was done for the University’s 21st President, Dr. Joseph Nyre, who announced his resignation on July 24, 2023.

Reilly’s appointment brings back the University’s tradition of having a priest as its leader.

Reilly, who currently serves as Seton Hall’s vice provost of Academics and Catholic Identity, is an alumnus of both Seton Hall and Seton Hall Prep, graduating from the former in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. In 1991, he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin, archbishop of Newark, said that Reilly “impressed me with his abiding faith, keen intellect and genuine care for the entire University.”

In 2002, Reilly returned to Seton Hall as rector of the College Seminary at St. Andrew’s Hall, then served as rector/dean of the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology beginning in 2012.

On July 1, Reilly will assume his position as University president, while Dr. Katia Passerini, who has served as Interim President since July 2023, will return to her previous position as provost and executive vice president.

Reilly said he is “profoundly grateful” and “exceedingly energized” to serve as Seton Hall’s next president.

Added Reilly, “I cannot wait to engage our community as together we strive to bring new life to the timeless Catholic mission that makes Seton Hall unique among American universities.”

Emma Thumann is the Setonian’s editor-in-chief and a writer for its News section. She can be reached at

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