I write today with important information on two significant administrative changes here at Monmouth. Effective June 30, 2021, Dr. Marilyn McNeil, Vice President and Director of Athletics, and Patricia (Patti) Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, will be retiring from Monmouth after long and storied careers in their respective areas. While I am reluctant for these colleagues to depart in June after a collective 73 years of service to the University, I am delighted for them to reap the benefits and enjoyments of a well-earned retirement.
Dr. Marilyn McNeil joined Monmouth in 1994 as the Director of Athletics, and over her 28-year tenure at the university, has elevated our Division 1 Athletics program into one of the premier mid-major programs in the country. And, during her time at Monmouth, Dr. McNeil has developed a winning culture on the field of play and in the classroom. She has helped lead the Hawks to 119 regular season conference championships and 38 team appearances in various NCAA tournaments, while at once setting program records for team GPA scores and Graduation Success Rates among our student-athletes. In addition to these laudable efforts in fostering a positive and winning student-athlete experience, Dr. McNeil has also demonstrated a notable commitment to gender equity and Title IX compliance in athletics – both at Monmouth and at the national level. Dr. McNeil has been a leader on this campus for nearly three decades, as well as a leader throughout intercollegiate athletics nationally, and her influence on Monmouth will be felt for decades to follow.
Patricia Swannack has dedicated her entire professional career to the advancement of Monmouth University. VP Swannack first joined Monmouth’s human resources department in 1975 and, after a series of promotions, was elevated to her current position of Vice President for Administrative Services in 1994, overseeing the departments of campus planning and construction, facilities management, human resources, student employment, and the University police department. Under her leadership and guidance, the University has performed over $325 million in construction and renovation projects, many of which have garnered national accolades for excellence in sustainability. A dedicated employee and loyal alumna of the University, VP Swannack received the Stafford Presidential Award of Excellence in 2004, as well as the Alumni Service Award in 2005. VP Swannack has been a steady and thoughtful leader on this campus for over four decades, and her many contributions to Monmouth will be celebrated for generations to come.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside Dr. McNeil and VP Swannack during my early years at Monmouth – two exceptional administrators whose commitment to Monmouth is incomparable, and whose contributions towards gender equity at Monmouth are remarkable. We will have ample opportunity to celebrate their dedication to Monmouth before June 30, but I wanted to share this news now, in order to effectively plan for these significant retirements. We will begin the search process for each position in the coming months, and I will continue to share updates with the University community as they become available. For now, please join me in thanking Dr. McNeil and VP Swannack for the indelible mark that each has left on our cherished University.
Dr. Patrick F. Leahy