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Seamus Carey, a Leading Academic, Named as Iona College’s Ninth President

Seamus Carey, Ph.D., a national leader in higher education, will become Iona College’s ninth president, beginning July 1, 2019.


‘Leader, philosopher and academic, he has the necessary skills and vision; he is the right leader at the right time.’

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.Seamus Carey, Ph.D., a national leader in higher education, who has been vocal on the relevance and importance of a liberal arts education, will become Iona College’s ninth president, beginning July 1, 2019, announced James P. Hynes, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Iona College. Carey will succeed Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., Iona’s first lay president, who has led the College since 2011, during a time of unprecedented growth.

Hynes said that Carey was selected from a large field of outstanding candidates on the strength of his tenure as president of Transylvania University, a highly regarded liberal arts college in Lexington, Ky., where, since 2014, he transformed the campus, successfully led the school’s commitment to diversity and inclusion efforts, and forged strong ties to the city’s civic and business communities. Carey also was an effective leader at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., where he served as dean of Arts and Sciences for four years. Prior to Sacred Heart, he was chairman of the philosophy department at Manhattan College where he taught for nine years. With each role, Carey has focused on ensuring students’ experiences incorporate studies of the liberal arts and make them career ready.

“Dr. Carey is the right person for the right time at Iona College,” Hynes said. “A highly regarded leader, philosopher, and academic, he has all the necessary skills and vision to build on Iona’s successes, and ensure its legacy among Catholic colleges.”

A Bronx native and first-generation college student, Carey earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Master of Arts from Fordham University, and a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College. He attended Harvard’s Management Development Program and the Executive Leadership Academy sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges. He published three books, which have focused on the intersection of philosophy, parenting, and family life; and is a contributor to Huffington Post.

“I am truly honored to join a community that understands the power of education and its ability to develop character, broaden horizons, and transform lives,” said Carey. “I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity and look forward to being a proud Gael.”

Thomas Moretti, Ph.D., chair of the College’s Faculty Senate, said he was tremendously impressed by Carey’s background and philosophy. "Dr. Carey deeply values the liberal arts tradition," Moretti explained, "and he knows its goal for Iona faculty and students alike: to forge ahead together on the path of goodness, success, and civic purpose. We welcome his leadership, his acumen, and his vision, and we look forward to working with him."

In recent years, Iona College has undergone a great many changes, including the launch of the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the development of a new core curriculum, the expansion of the campus footprint, including the addition of two new residence halls, record levels of fundraising, and an investment in health sciences programs such as Occupational Therapy and Communications Science Disorders. Currently, the College has two major construction projects in progress with renovations and modernizations of the LaPenta School of Business and Spellman Hall, and, this month, Iona announced the Hynes Athletics Center will also commence a transformational renovation over the summer.

“Dr. Carey has a reputation of believing in, and engaging with, students,” said Hannah McGowan, a college senior, and president of Iona’s Student Government Association. “He recognizes their individuality, and knows first-hand that education is about providing students with the tools and values to make a difference in the world.”

A devout Catholic, Carey is married to his wife, Noreen, whom he met in high school. He attended Mt. Saint Michael and she attended St. Barnabas, Catholic high schools in the Bronx. They have three children: Caitriona, a 2018 graduate of Hobart and William Smith College; Anna, a rising senior in the Honors College at the University of Kentucky; and James, who will be attending Gettysburg College in the fall.

Founded in 1940, Iona College is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre campus is just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of over 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2020.” Iona College also recently launched a new, fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility.