“Celebrating Past Presidents” Exhibit Now Open!

In honor of Rev. Joseph G. Marina, S.J. becoming The University’s 29th president, Weinberg Library’s Heritage Room will feature an autumn exhibit on the past presidents of The University of Scranton and St. Thomas College. The exhibit, based on research by Professor Emeritus of History Frank Homer and utilizing photographs and documents from the University Archives, will focus on the accomplishments of the past presidents and their impact on the development of the school. 

The exhibit will be on display in the Heritage room until December 17. A reception is being planned but the date is not yet confirmed. For more information, contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies at 570-941-6341 or Michael.Knies@scranton.edu.

In Memoriam: The 20th Anniversary of 9/11

Twenty years ago, The University of Scranton joined the world in shock and heartache as we witnessed the tragedies of September 11th transpire across New York City, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

On that day, the University community lost Michael Costello ’96, Timothy Finnerty ’90, Charles Heeran ’00, Timothy Hughes ’80 and William Kelly ’93, in addition to 32 relatives of students and graduates, all of whose names are preserved within the Madonna della Strada Chapel.

In the subsequent days and weeks, the University community showed its indomitable Ignatian spirit: students, staff, and faculty donated blood, raised money for numerous organizations such as the United Way 9/11 Fund, and procured supplies for the ongoing rescue effort.

Now, two decades later, we pause in remembrance of those lost and to reflect upon our shared experience.



In Memory of Katherine “Kay” Reilly ’53 (July 12, 1922-August 31, 2021)

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Katherine “Kay” Reilly. Kay was a great supporter of The University of Scranton and the Weinberg Memorial Library, in particular.

Kay was one of the first female graduates of The University of Scranton, along with her sister, Evelyn ’52. After graduating, they helped draft the charter that formed the Women’s Alumni Society and served as its officers for many years.

Kay, Evelyn, and their brother Joe donated to The University of Scranton and the Weinberg Memorial Library allowing for the creation and dedication of the Reilly Learning Commons. In addition to the Reilly Learning Commons, Kay and her sister also established the Evelyn M. and the Katherine T. Reilly Scholarship at the University. 

Kay was a trailblazer who set the course for future women at the University. We are thankful for all she has done for our community and the Library, and we send our deepest condolences to her family.

You can view her full obituary  here.

In Memory of Brian E. McHugh ’59 (January 1, 1937 – August 9, 2021)

It is with immense sadness that we announce the loss of Brian E. McHugh ’59, dear friend to the Weinberg Memorial Library, The University of Scranton, and the wider community.   

Born in Kingston and a graduate of Kingston High School, Brian would serve in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict. After being honorably discharged, Brian studied at the University of Havana, Cuba and earned a B.S. in Psychology from The University of Scranton in 1959.   

With an entrepreneurial career spanning instruction, banking, and construction, Brian was most recently a field consultant for business development. He was also a member of the Advisory Board of The Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library and active in both the Luzerne County and Kingston Historical Societies. His generous estate gift to the library, in memory of his mother, resulted in the naming of the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections.  

He will be greatly missed.

In Memory of Glynn S. Lunney H’71 (November 27, 1936 – March 19, 2021)

Legendary NASA engineer and University of Scranton alumnus Glynn S. Lunney passed away on March 19th at the age of 84. Lunney was lead flight director at NASA for Apollo 1, 4, 7, and 10, and on duty as flight director during the Apollo 11 moon landing. A native of Old Forge, Lunney graduated from Scranton Prep and studied at the University until 1955 before receiving his B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Detroit. He was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Scranton in 1971, conferred by president Rev. Dexter Hanley, S.J., who received an autographed moon landing photo from Lunney (see below). He will be remembered for his incredible contributions to US spaceflight.

The full citation for his 1971 honorary doctor of laws degree is in our digital collections. If you’re on campus, you can also browse newspaper clippings concerning his honorary degree and undergraduate commencement address.

In Memory of University President Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J. (July 31, 1959 – March 10, 2021)

The familiar smiling face of Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., during his inauguration as the 24th President of the University of Scranton (June 2003)
Rev. Herbert B. Keller, S.J., the University’s 26th president, presents the University’s mace to Father Pilarz during his second inauguration (21 September 2018)
Father Pilarz celebrates with students at a Royals basketball game (11 March 2005)
Meeting members of the University community at the start of his second tenure (2 July 2018)
Blessing and naming a residence plaza in honor of St. Oscar Romero, the martyred Archbishop of San Salvador (October 2018)
Father Pilarz enjoys a laugh with 22nd and 23rd University of Scranton Presidents Rev. J.A. Panuska, S.J. and Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J. (June 2003)
Father Pilarz announces the establishment of the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for Humanities (May 2019)
Providing a prayer and blessing at the lighting ceremony of the Class of 2020 Gateway (21 February 2020)
Presenting John (Jack) Brennan ’68, P’06 with a 50-Year Reunion Medal at Reunion Weekend 2018

“European Medieval Manuscript Leaves: Varieties of Script and Content from the Jim Sims Collection” Now Open!

This physical and online exhibit looks at the progression of medieval handwriting primarily in liturgical books, lay prayer books and Bibles. While not all types of medieval handwriting are in the exhibit, scripts such as Carolingian, Gothic, and Humanist among others are featured. The exhibit was curated by Casey Welby, Classical Languages and History Major ’21 as part of her Honors Project and as a student humanities fellowship at the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for the Humanities. Welby worked with Special Collections Librarian Prof. Michael Knies, Digital Services Librarian Prof. Colleen Farry, with the support of Digital Services Web Developer Jennifer Galas. The Heritage Room will be hosting the physical exhibit of the Sims medieval manuscript leaf collection from February 8 through May 21. However, due to COVID restrictions, the campus is closed to the general public. The online version of the exhibit can be viewed here: digitalprojects.scranton.edu/s/sims-exhibit.

For more information please contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies at michael.knies@scranton.edu 


In Memory of Terry Connors

It is with great sorrow that we announce the loss of Terry Connors, University of Scranton photographer of nearly four decades. At once both an omnipresent and unobtrusive figure on campus and in the greater community, Terry documented almost every major activity and accomplishment of the University while serving under five different administrations. Not only did Terry fastidiously record history in conventional fashion but showcased a knack, undoubtedly aided by his geniality, for capturing candid moments. He also documented the many distinguished visitors to the region, including politicians, religious figures, actors, musicians, and many other celebrities, Nobel Prize winners, military officials and international dignitaries. In addition to work on campus, Terry provided services to such clients as the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, the Lackawanna Bar Association, Moses Taylor Hospital and the Diocese of Scranton. His photographs are therefore an invaluable asset not only to the University but the greater Scranton area, constituting a survey of its events and people dating back to 1976. He will be deeply missed. 

Donated in 2008, the Terry and Paula Connors Collection contains thousands of negatives, prints, and born digital photographs spanning much of his impactful career. Selected negatives and prints (1976-2005) can be viewed in Digital Collections.

University of Scranton President J. A. Panuska, S.J., on the roof of the newly constructed Weinberg Memorial Library (1992)


Loyola Hall on the University of Scranton campus (ca. 1978)
Two students walking up a hill by the Long Center after a snowfall, with the city of Scranton behind them (ca. late 1970s) 
Architectural model of the University of Scranton’s planned University Commons. From left to right, Ralph Mancuso, executive vice president, S. G. Mastriani Construction Corp., Rev. Bernard McIlhenney, Robert Ryder, John Flanagan, and Marilyn Coar (ca. 1979 or 1980)
Mother Teresa receiving an honorary degree from University of Scranton President Rev. Joseph A. Panuska. In the background is Marilyn Coar (August 16, 1987)
Students having a snowball fight outside of Alumni Memorial Hall after a snowfall (1994)

Passionist “Lift High the Cross” Exhibit Now Open!

Aware that so many of us carry everyday crosses in life, Italian St. Paul of Cross (1694-1775) founded the Passionist Congregation in 1720. This exhibit shows how Passionist priests, brothers, sisters, nuns and the peoples of the world have found compassion through the wisdom of Jesus on the Cross. See how sacred Passionist relics and inspirational art invites us to meditate on contemporary faith and healings and how artifacts and photos offer an understanding of Passionist monastic traditions and Scranton’s devotion to Good St. Ann.  The diversity of Passionist ministry is represented by scholars, various media and a commitment to peace and justice.   

On April 1, Fr. Rob Carbonneau, C.P., Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Scranton and Passionist historian will offer a free public lecture entitled “Our Modern Quest for Compassion of the Mind and Heart: Reflection on the Passionist Tradition, 1720 to 2020.”   

The Heritage Room exhibit will run through April 19. For more information please contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies at 570-941-6341.

Happy Halloween from McHugh Special Collections!

Today is the perfect time to remember William Friedkin’s classic 1973 horror film, The Exorcist. Featuring a Jesuit priest’s battle against a demonic possession, the film stars alumnus Jason Miller, ’61, H’73 and is based on the novel by William Peter Blatty. The film would earn Jason Miller an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and Blatty a win for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Exorcist was largely inspired by The Earling Possession Case of 1928, an exorcism conducted by Father Theophilus Riesinger in Earling, Iowa and detailed in 1932 by Rev. F.J. Bunse, S.J. Although copies are extremely scarce, one of two is preserved here at the University.