The Rev. Joseph Levesque, former president of Niagara University, will take over the helm from Father Donald Harrington, who announced his retirement in May, following accusations of a corruption scandal.
Harrington, 67, who served as president for 24 years, had acknowledged that he accepted lavish gifts from former Dean Cecilia Chang, who was on trial for numerous offenses and committed suicide last year.
A native of North Tarrytown, Levesque began teaching at Niagara in 1970 and later was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the graduate division.
He later served as president of St. Joseph’s Seminary in upstate and was elected provincial superior of the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Vincentian Mission in 1990.
He was named president of Niagara in 1999 and served as chairman of the boards of St. John’s University and Niagara during his nine-year term as provincial superior.
“We are confident of a seamless transition as Father Harrington steps down as president at the end of this month and know that over the coming academic year, Father Levesque will continue to build on his outstanding record of accomplishment,” read a statement from St. John’s.