The Rev. Robert A. Wild will return to the Office of the President Wednesday, and will serve as interim president until August 2014 after the Rev. Scott Pilarz announced his resignation as university president last month.
Pilarz said in his email to campus that he will help Wild with the transition while traveling back and forth from Marquette to New Jersey to care for his ailing father.
“The university is really excited to welcome back Father Wild, and we are looking forward to the continuity he will bring to our Marquette Community over the next 10 months,” said Brian Dorrington, senior director of university communications.
Wild previously served as university president from 1996 to 2011. Because of his many years of service, Dorrington said he will be able to “jump in immediately.”
“Father Wild will work with Interim Provost Dr. Margaret Faut Callaham and the entire senior leadership team to ensure progress continues in a cohesive manner,” Dorrington said.
While in office, Wild saw undergraduate applications increase from 5,000 to 20,000 and oversaw the construction of the Raynor Library, Eckstein Hall, the Al McGuire Center and Engineering Hall.
During the next 10 months, Wild plans to focus on the strategic plan created by Pilarz.
Wild will also be in charge of selecting the next vice president after Executive Vice President Mary Distanislao announced her resignation Oct. 10.
The president’s office team looks forward to welcoming Wild back to office. Steve Frieder, assistant to the president and corporate secretary, worked with Wild for more than 13 years.
“He is energetic and enthusiastic about leading Marquette in the year ahead,” Frieder said. “My colleagues and I look forward to working with him again. Father Wild is a kind, thoughtful and caring leader.”
Frieder’s colleagues at the presidential office say the university is in good and capable hands under Wild’s leadership due to his many years of experience and knowledge of the university.
“I am very excited to have a change and new perspective leading Marquette. Hopefully everyone handles the change well,” said Tessa Guido, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Guido said she hopes Wild will be accessible to students, for instance by walking around campus and talking with students.
Julia Cullinan, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said she is optimistic about the transition.
“Each president we have had at the university has added their perspectives and view and what they think is best for the university,” Cullinan said. “All of these things have added up to make Marquette as great as it can be. I am looking forward to what Wild will add to Marquette during his time as interim.”