Br. Thomas Scanlan

President Emeritus
Brother Thomas Scanlan was born in New York City and attended Sacred Heart Parish in the Highbridge section of the Bronx. Br. Thomas returned to his native Bronx in 1987 as the new president of Manhattan College. During his presidency, the College has flourished, adding new academic programs and campus buildings and attaining fiscal health. Br. Thomas has ably guided the College and solidified a strong vision for its future. His term as President ended with the 2008-2009 academic year. In his leisure time, Br. Thomas enjoys reading, Sudoku, puzzles and cooking.

On becoming a Christian Brother: 
I knew I wanted to become a Christian Brother in elementary school; I admired the teaching of the Brothers and their work with youth.
What is one especially meaningful experience that you have had as a teacher?
When I started teaching in high school, my first class dedicated their yearbook to me when they graduated.
What has been a significant life experience outside of teaching?
Suffering with the Palestinian people when I was at Bethlehem University in the Occupied Territories.
Which place has had the most impact on your life as a Brother?
Bethlehem University
Career at Manhattan:
  • President, 1987-2009
Br. Thomas came to Manhattan College from Bethlehem University in Palestine where he served as vice chancellor and chief executive officer (1981-1987). Prior to that, he was director of finance and education for the New York Province of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (1978-81). Br. Thomas also served as a teacher (1967-69), vice principal (1969-72), and principal (1972-75) at Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington, NJ.
Br. Thomas received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal in 1986. He has been a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, K.G.C.H.S. since 1988. He also received the Good Scout Award from the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 1995. In 1997, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. He also received a Community Leadership Award from the New York City Community Board 8 in 1998 and an Interfaith Brotherhood Award from the Riverdale Jewish Community Council in 2003. Br. Thomas has been a member of the Fellows of the Phi Beta Kappa Society since 2004.
Br. Thomas also serves on the boards of many important organizations. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education. He serves as chair of the Board of Trustees of the New York Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities and chairman of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Br. Thomas is also a member of the Provincial Council of the Brothers of the Christian Schools of the New York Province. He serves on the Executive Committee of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.


  • B.A. Physics, The Catholic University of America, summa cum laude, 1967
  • M.A. Mathematics, New York University, 1972
  • Ph.D. Business Administration, Columbia University, 1978