Portrait photo of Lisa A. Lori, J.D., Marywood's 13th President
Lisa A. Lori, J.D., Marywood University's first lay president, will begin her tenure as the institution's 13th President on July 1, 2024.

Lisa A. Lori, J.D. Elected as Marywood University's First Lay President

Sister Kathleen Lunsmann, IHM, Chair of the Marywood University Board of Trustees, announced that former Board Chair Lisa A. Lori, J.D., a native of Pittston Twp., Pa., and a current resident of the Philadelphia region, has been appointed as the thirteenth president of Marywood University. Selected after an extensive national search, Atty. Lori will begin her tenure on July 1, 2024, succeeding Sister Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D., who has served as Marywood’s President since 2016 and is retiring on June 30, 2024.

Atty. Lori makes history as Marywood’s first lay president, and her appointment reflects a growing national trend of lawyer presidents, whose legal training and strategic expertise are highly sought in today’s challenging, complex higher education climate. With her extensive legal background, innovative leadership as Marywood’s former Board Chair, and a link to the IHM Congregation as a commissioned IHM Associate (the IHM lay association), Atty. Lori is uniquely qualified to serve as Marywood University’s next president.

“Lisa will be leading Marywood at a critical time in its 109-year history. In addition to her many professional qualifications, she embraces the charism and core values of the IHM Sisters and demonstrates an abiding commitment to our students, faculty, and staff,” stated Sister Kathleen Lunsmann, IHM, Marywood Board Chair and Co-Chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “In the spirit of our shared mission to cultivate minds and hearts, I am confident that Lisa’s dynamic vision, deep faith, and strategic guidance will lead Marywood University to even greater heights of achievement and service to others.”

Michael E. Bugno, Co-Chair of the Presidential Search Committee and a Marywood Trustee, added, “Lisa’s vision for the university aligns seamlessly with our mission to educate and inspire the next generation of leaders who will make a positive impact on society. We look forward to working closely with her as we embark on this new chapter together.”

Before this historic appointment, only IHM Sisters have served as president since Marywood’s founding in 1915. A comprehensive, Catholic university of more than 2,500 students, Marywood will continue to be sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton. Atty. Lori is committed to continuing the IHM legacy and to leading Marywood University in the Catholic intellectual tradition.

“I believe Marywood’s greatest resource is its people, and our mission is life changing. As a first-generation college student, Marywood challenged me, empowered me, and provided me with a foundation from which I was able to reach my full potential,” said Atty. Lori. “My goal as president is to continue that vital mission, working together with our campus and community partners to ensure that Marywood University is a leading academic institution for future generations as well as an economic engine for the region.”

Atty. Lori is a partner with Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg LLP, Philadelphia, Pa. An experienced business litigator for more than two decades, she has represented national and international businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, higher education institutions, health care providers, and individuals, in a full range of complex business litigation and strategic advising matters. She also was a founder and co-chair of her firm’s higher education and healthcare industry practice groups. 

Before becoming a lawyer, Atty. Lori pursued an entrepreneurial career, designing and manufacturing a line of clothing under the label Fioretti USA, which was sold at stores nationwide, including Nordstrom, before being acquired by a larger apparel manufacturer. She then decided to go to law school and pursued interests in intellectual property and business litigation.

A graduate of Wyoming Seminary (Kingston, Pa.), Atty. Lori holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Design from Marywood University (Scranton, Pa.). She earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, cum laude, from Temple University School of Law (Philadelphia, Pa.), where she served as Editor in Chief of the Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review. She also holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in trial advocacy from Temple University and a Certificate in Strategic Leadership in Education from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pa.).

Atty. Lori is a member of the Board of Directors of Jefferson University Physicians (2021–present). She has been recognized as a leading commercial litigation attorney in Pennsylvania by Chambers USA (2021, 2022, 2023), which ranks leading lawyers and law firms across the nation, based on in-depth market analysis and independent research. She also is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a highly selective, invitation-only honorary society of trial lawyers composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Selection is based on excellence and accomplishment in litigation and a superior ethical reputation. Further, Atty. Lori is AV Preeminent rated by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubble, the highest rating for legal ability and general ethics, as well as being named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer (2016, 2017, 2018) by a vote of her peers.