President Mullen's Biography
Fr.. Kevin J. Mullen, O.F.M., Ph.D. '75
Tenth President of Siena College
“… to begin again … for up until now we have done nothing.”
St.Francis of Assisi
Fr. Kevin is fond of quoting these words spoken by St. Francis as a reminder to his brothers that their work is never done, there are always new opportunities to be seized. As President of Siena College, the Franciscan legacy Fr. Kevin shares with the Friars of the Holy Name Province provides him with a clear recognition of the importance of focusing on the future, built on a Franciscan heritage.
Fr. Kevin was introduced to Franciscan themes as a child in his hometown of Paterson, N.J., where the largest group of Franciscan Friars Minor in the country had its program for novices. St. Bonaventure Church, just a few blocks from his home, embedded Franciscan values into the grammar school curriculum and his family nurtured his Franciscan spirit throughout his early life.Fr. Kevin received a bachelor’s degree in history from Siena College in 1975. His Siena memories include several influential people: outstanding professors and lecturers who exposed him to the writings of St. Bonaventure and other Franciscan scholars. In June of 1975, Fr. Kevin was received as a member of the Order of Friars Minor. Four years later, he made his solemn profession of vows and in 1980 was ordained a Roman Catholic priest. He received his Master’s of Divinity degree from Washington Theological Union and a Ph.D. in theology from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. where his interest in medical ethics grew and he continued to cultivate his pastoral heart.
From 1987–1990 Fr. Kevin taught full-time at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, N.Y., and concurrently was a member of the Ethics Committee of Sisters’ Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y. In subsequent years, he taught at the following institutions: Pope John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Mass., Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., Emmanuel College in Boston, Mass., Felician College in Lodi, N.J., the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University, Olean, N.Y. and the Washington Theological Union in Silver Spring, Md.
Fr. Kevin’s administrative and leadership experience reflects both the spirit and demonstration of a life guided by Franciscan values. He served as Rector/Guardian of St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, Mass. from 1990–1999. The popular downtown church offers numerous pastoral, liturgical and educational programs. He also chaired the Board of Directors of St. Francis House, hailed by Boston’s church, business leaders and residents as a model for helping the homeless and marginalized. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors of Franciscan Children’s Hospital from 1997–1999 and was on the steering committee for the Interfaith Clergy Breakfast from 1990-1999. In 1999, Fr. Kevin was appointed Pastor/Guardian of St. Leo’s Church in Elmwood Park, N.J., where he served until his Siena College appointments in 2005. He was Guardian (supervisor) of the Franciscan Friary at the College from 2005–2007 and Director of the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy from 2005-2007. He was appointed President in 2007. He had served as a member of the Siena College Board of Trustees from 1987-1996 and from 1999-2005.
Fr. Kevin has served on the Provincial Council of the Franciscans of Holy Name Province since 2003. He was Director of Finance for the Province from 1996-2008. From 1990-1993 he was also a member of the Board of Trustees of Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, N.Y. Currently, he serves on many Boards of Directors, including the MAAC Council of Presidents; the NCAA Board of Directors, including the Executive Board of Directors; the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce; Alzheimer’s Association; and the Ancient Order of Hibernians; and the Irish American Heritage Museum. He will chair the Middle States evaluation team visit to Westminster College for its accreditation in the spring of 2011.
During a forum with Siena community members, Fr. Kevin spoke about his outlook on life, which he outlined as respect for the human person, supporting relationships seeking justice and being good stewards of God’s creation.
In his President’s Message in the 2009 Siena College President’s Report, Fr. Kevin expressed his thoughts on Siena’s future by saying, “Looking to the future, we see challenges as problems to solve and opportunities to pursue. We gain great confidence from the continued and enthusiastic support of the full Siena College community. Every day we appreciate how blessed we are as we move beyond the 800th year since the founding of the Franciscan Order and the 72nd year since the seven founding Franciscan Friars had a wonderful idea that became Siena College. I am pleased to report that its potential has never been better.”
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