Msgr. Swetland succeeds Steven M. LaNasa, Ph.D., who left the position in December 2013. Bob Bartunek, former Chairman of Donnelly College’s Board, served as interim president during the presidential search and returned to the Board, effective July 1.
Before arriving at Donnelly, Msgr. Swetland served as the Vice President for Catholic Identity and Director of Pre-Theology at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD, where he also held the Archbishop Flynn Chair of Christian Ethics.
In addition to his new role at Donnelly, Msgr. Swetland, a Knight Commander for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus, serves as the Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education and is the Executive Secretary for the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. Additionally, Msgr. Swetland hosts the weekly television show Catholicism on Campus on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and co-hosts the daily show Go Ask Your Father on Relevant Radio.
Q&A: THE MAN BEHIND THE COLLAR
Man of God. Accomplished scholar and educator. Radio show host. Pittsburgh Steelers fan. There’s much more to Donnelly’s new president, Monsignor Stuart Swetland, S.T.D., than meets the eye. Get to know him a little better:
What’s your philosophy about education?
The word “educate” is from the Latin educere, meaning “to be led out or drawn forth.” To educate is to lead people out of ignorance into the truth. This is best done in a community of learners. Donnelly College is a community of learners. Some of the learners are further along the path of knowledge, understanding and wisdom. We call these learners professor or instructor. But we are all searching to know and understand and to attempt to share our insight and wisdom. As a Catholic college, we know that we exist to search for and share the truth and that the most important truth about ourselves and about God has been revealed to us by Jesus Christ who is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Many people are surprised to discover that I am an adult convert to Catholicism. Another thing that might be surprising (and maybe not too popular in KCK) is that I root for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Penguins and Steelers. Having been born in Pittsburgh, you are allowed to change your religion, but your teams are a different matter! I look forward to growing in my appreciation of the Royals
What do you really want people to know about you?
I really want people to know that I love them and that I love our Lord and that I believe He is calling me to serve them.
What is your personal mantra?
“Study hard, pray harder.”
Why a life of service?
All of us are called to serve because we are made in the image and likeness of a God who became one of us “not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many” (Mathew 20:28). In my opinion, to live a life of service is the surest path to joy and peace.
Why Christianity? Why Catholicism?
Ultimately, I am a Catholic Christian because I believe the claims of Christianity to be true. As an adult convert, I studied many religions and philosophies and nothing makes more sense of the way things really are than the teachings of the Church.
I believe that God has called me to serve as president of Donnelly College. DC is a wonderful example of the apostolate of Catholic higher education. It has a tremendous history of service and embodies so many of the values and virtues being emphasized by Pope Francis today. But also very important to me in my discernment were the outstanding men and women that I had the privilege to meet in the interview process. The espirit de corps of DC’s staff and students is very impressive and I am honored to join such a fine team.
Msgr. Swetland received his undergraduate degree in Physics from the United States Naval Academy, where he was first in his class academically. Elected a Rhodes Scholar in 1981, he entered the Catholic Church while studying at Oxford and was ordained a priest in 1991 for the Diocese of Peoria, IL. He has a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Oxford University where he studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford; a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary; and earned his Sacred Theology Licentiate and Sacred Theology Doctorate from the Pontifical Lateran University.
Msgr. Swetland was named a Prelate of Honor in 2000 by St. John Paul II.