On January 8, the King’s College’s Board of Directors in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, announced that it had selected Fr. Thomas P. Looney, C.S.C., to serve as the College's next president. Fr. Looney will succeed Fr. John J. Ryan, C.S.C., who has served as president since 2011 and will conclude his presidency until June 30, 2021. Upon his installation on July 1, Fr. Looney will be the 10th president of King’s College since its founding in 1946.
“I am deeply humbled and excited by the opportunity to serve the mission and community of King’s College in this new role," said Fr. Looney. "It has been a great blessing to have worked with three outstanding presidents (Fr. Lackenmier, Fr. O’Hara, and Fr. Ryan), board members, alumni, administrators, faculty, staff, students, and my brothers in Holy Cross. I look forward to deepening these collaborations and working diligently with the help of God’s grace to advance the noble student-centered mission of King’s.”
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Fr. Looney currently serves King’s as the Associate Vice President for Academic Success, the Director of Campus Ministry, and College chaplain, yet his ministry at the College began nearly 35 years ago. Fr. Looney made his Profession of Final Vows in the College’s former Chapel of Christ the King on August 13, 1986, and a few weeks later began teaching Theology at King’s and serving as a deacon at St. Nicholas Parish in Wilkes-Barre. He was then ordained a priest on June 13, 1987.
Over his years serving at King's College, Fr. Looney has served as Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Theology, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dean of the Faculty at King’s. Among his many accomplishments, he led the efforts to restore the former Memorial Church on North Street in Wilkes-Barre that now serves as the Chapel of Christ the King at the George & Giovita Maffei Family Commons.
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In recognition of his exemplary service to the College, Fr. Looney was awarded the All College Administration Award in both 2016 and 2020, and the All College Teaching Award in 2001. A widely respected and admired member of the King’s family, Fr. Looney enjoys many deep relationships with King’s students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends.
In addition to his long service at King's College, Fr. Looney has also served as Vice President for Catholic Identity and Mission at Stonehill College in North Easton, Ma., another higher educational institution of the Congregation of Holy Cross. He also was elected and served as Provincial Superior for the Eastern Province of Priests and Brothers.
Fr. Looney earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stonehill College, a Master of Divinity from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, Ontario, and a Doctorate in Theology from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The subject of his dissertation was ecumenical ecclesiology.
Much of the information for this article comes from the official press release of King's College announcing Fr. Looney's selection as President. That press release can be found here.