BELOIT - Seton Hall University's newly appointed 21st president - Joseph Nyre - traces his roots to Beloit.
He has served as the president of Iona College, a Roman Catholic institution in New Rochelle, N.Y., since 2011. He will assume the presidency of Seton Hall University effective Aug. 1, 2019.
Nyre is a first-generation college graduate who attained three advanced degrees and completed pre- and post-doctoral studies at the University of Missouri, University of Kansas and Harvard Medical School.
He is the son of Joseph and Delores Nyre who live in Beloit; brother to Kathi Mauel who lives in Beloit with her husband Cale Mauel; and brother to Sue Rearick of Colorado.
In an interview Thursday the new Seton Hall president shared his fond memories of Beloit, where he attended St. Jude's Catholic Church.
"Beloit is a great place to raise a family. I'm appreciative of my parents and all the people who helped me. Life is a team sport," Nyre said.
He spent time along the river while his father worked at the former Beatrice Foods and his mother worked in human resources at a machine shop for Prent in Janesville, in addition to running a temporary staffing agency.
Nyre warmly remembers growing up in Beloit.
As a tot, Nyre had many stops at the former Geri's hamburger place. His family was close friends of the late George Stankewitz who ran the Pop House, a teen social club, at 156 Portland Ave.
Nyre remains a fan of Tilley's Pizza House and Domenico's as well as Palermo's pizza. He, wife Kelli and four children ages 6 to 17 stop back to visit about four times a year.
Nyre is 1986 graduate of Beloit Catholic High, which he credits for preparing him for his 12 years in college.
Prior to becoming president at Iona, he was faculty member at several large institutions in the area of developmental child psychopathology. His program of research focused on ADHD and autism as well as how to diagnose young children and treat them.
He also worked with others to develop federal legislation as well as state legislation in Illinois focusing on improving the system of care for children with severe developmental disabilities.
"Working with children with severe disorders has always been a passion and something I not only studied, but researched and taught," he said.
Nyre has practiced as a psychologist in academic, clinical and private practice settings while serving at several prominent institutions, including Baylor University, the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Medicine and Harvard Medical School.
Nyre said he's always been passionate about public and private education.
"Education is wisdom and virtue. Wisdom is what to do, and virtue is doing it," he said. "The intersection of education and faith is a wonderful place to stay."
During his eight years as president, Iona College experienced successes, including launching new academic programs, establishing The Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, developing a new core curriculum, funding new endowed professorships, and creating faculty distinction and innovation programs. In addition, Iona reduced its tuition dependency, strengthened its fiscal health, and expanded the campus footprint, according to information from a press release from Seton Hall University.
"I believe one of our country's greatest strengths is higher education, and it's a vital part of strong democracy," Nyre said. "I've enjoyed serving and leading at a university and watching young people go on to have their lives transformed."