Pilarz gets to know MU campus community

University President the Rev. Scott Pilarz has spent the past year getting to know the Marquette community.

It has been just over a year since the Rev. Scott Pilarz was named Marquette’s 23rd university president, and already, he has been learning from students and faculty alike about how best to become integrated within the Marquette community and tradition.

Since his arrival on campus the first weekend in August, Pilarz has been living on the fourth floor of Campus Town East among Marquette students. It’s a custom he’s maintained as a faculty member and administrator at other universities.

Thomas MacKinnon, chief of staff to the president, said Pilarz had always opted to live in student housing, including his time at Georgetown University and the University of Scranton.

“I believe (living in campus housing) gives him a chance to get to know students personally and keep in touch with what it means to be a student at Marquette,” MacKinnon said.

This living arrangement is just one of several ways Pilarz has familiarized himself with life in Milwaukee and with the university.

“He had a great deal of time over the last year to meet with students, faculty and staff to learn about the Marquette community,” MacKinnon said.

Stacie Dooley, associate dean of Residence Life University Apartments and Off-Campus Student Services, said Pilarz’s residence in university-owned apartments is key to becoming a part of campus.

“It’s certainly a good way to stay in touch with student life,” Dooley said.

Several campus offices prepared Pilarz’s apartment on the fourth floor of Campus Town East before his move-in day, Dooley said, including the Office of the University Architect, Facilities Services and the Office of Residence Life.

Pilarz began his transition over the summer and continued as students arrived back on campus. Among the first activities Pilarz took on were a dinner with some students, speaking at New Student Orientation and meeting with new students and parents at Convocation, MacKinnon said.

Pilarz follows in the footsteps of former University President the Rev. Robert A. Wild, who was defined in part by his active presence on campus and interaction with students. Dooley said the decision to name Pilarz president was made with this similarity in mind.

According to the university inauguration website, Pilarz was known to attend student social events and invite students for meals while at the University of Scranton, and hopes to continue the tradition at Marquette.

“Father (Pilarz) will continue to host informal gatherings of students as well,” MacKinnon said.

Among Pilarz’s plans for the future is a fall forum sponsored by Marquette Student Government, a chance to answer student questions in the style of his predecessor’s biannual Fr. Wild Forums, MacKinnon said.

MacKinnon said Pilarz plans to continue interacting with students throughout the year.

“I suspect you’ll see him around campus quite a bit,” MacKinnon said.