Meet our 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Rev. John J. Ryan, C.S.C., Ph.D. We are excited to honor and celebrate a man who has truly made our community a better place, a community that he was born and raised in in and the place where he attended high school, college and led one of our most prestigious higher education institutions into it’s bright and strong future. Learn more about Father Ryan in his own words below!
As I gaze from my office widow here at King’s College, I can see the high school from which I graduated in 1967. Two blocks further, I see the College where I graduated in 1971 with a B.S. in Accounting. Directly across the street, sitting on the Luzerne County lawn, I notice the iconic metal statue of a white-tailed deer on which I sat at age three or four to have my picture taken. It appears, gazing from my office window, that I have not traveled far from my hometown of Wilkes-Barre, PA. In some ways that is true, the people of my hometown were never far from my heart, but I and my hometown have changed significantly since I left after graduating from college some fifty years ago.
In 1971 I began my professional career working for an international engineering consulting firm which, for 13 years, allowed me to develop professionally, travel and complete an MBA. These were stimulating and rewarding years, yet “there came a time when the Lord was calling me to take some further step”.
In the summer of 1984, I arrived at Moreau Seminary at the University of Notre Dame. During my first year I had the fortunate opportunity to teach a finance course to Notre Dame Undergraduates. I recall entering the classroom and thinking to myself, I just lowered the average class IQ, and I am the teacher! Nonetheless, after completing my theological training in Toronto and doctoral studies at Temple University, I found myself, after 25 years away from Wilkes-Barre, returning home to teach in the Business School at King’s College.
Ten years of teaching, seven years of administration as Dean of the Business School, nine plus years as President and twenty-five years of service to the local diocese as an auxiliary priest. I have been privileged to be part of the board of directors of many fine institutions, including these on which I currently sit: The University of Notre Dame; Stonehill College; The University of Portland and The Earth Conservancy. All this while at King’s College and in Holy Cross and in my hometown. I have been very blessed and can honestly say I would do almost all of it over again.
In retrospect, my journey thus far is much like grace – you rarely see it coming and it is seen clearest in the rear-view mirror.
Make sure to join us for our Chamber Annual Dinner on November 19th at 4 PM LIVE on Facebook and YouTube to celebrate American Paper Bag and the rest of our honorees that night! Click here to register today!