There were bagpipes and an academic procession, where delegates from over 45 higher education institutions added to the historic pageantry and color of Dr. Joseph E. Nyre, PhD, IONA College’s eighth president.
The delegates marched in an inaugural processional that included members of Iona’s faculty, administration and representatives from the community as well as officials, faculty and alumni of many invited institutions.
Dr. Nyre is now the first non Christian Brother to lead IONA in it's long and proud 70 year history. Among the distinguished guests who attended this special celebration were the Presidents of nine colleges, including Dr. Charles Flynn, Jr., College of Mount Saint Vincent; Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M, DePaul University; Sister Mary Eileen O’Brien, OP, Dominican College; Dr. Alice Hoersch, La Salle University; Dr. Brennan O’Donnell, Manhattan College; Dr. Judson Shaver, Marymount Manhattan College; Dr. Kimberly Cline, Mercy College; Sr. Elizabeth Hill, CSJ, JD, St. Joseph’s College and Ms. Judith Huntington, The College of New Rochelle. In addition, there were also representatives from major universities including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Washington and Lee University, Fordham University, New York University, University of Notre Dame, Seton Hall, Cooper Union and others.
Dr. Nyre earned an Ed.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and completed post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard Medical School and the University of Kansas. He earned an M.A. from the University of Missouri and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. Prior to attending college, he served in the U.S. Navy.
Dr. Nye took time to say hello to us and speak with the news media. He says he is honored to be leading a Catholic institution that has always been devoted to educating the whole person by focusing on the mind, body and spirit.
Dr. Nyre is the College’s first non-Christian Brother to serve as president. He and his wife, Kelli, have three children. One of them almost stole the show at his dad's inaugural festivities yesterday. After 7 year old Henry addressed the gathering, he was mentioned as a possible candidate to be the ninth IONA president.
This day long celebration was the highlight of a number of inaugural-related events, said 88 year old City Island resident Russell Schaller, who is a proud graduate from IONA College and has received two degrees. A Bachelors, as well as a Masters degree.