As this past century drew to a close, Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, (Third Order Regular) prepared to embark on his 26th year of service as president of Franciscan University of Steubenville.
As president, Father Michael is said to have brought the university back from the brink of bankruptcy to financial stability and was the spearhead of a spiritual revolution to lead the school out of what has been described as the "moral chaos" of the sixties and seventies. Franciscan University of Steubenville has come quite a long way. The National Catholic Register recently listed it as one of the 12 best Catholic colleges in the United States, and it was selected in 1995-96 and 1997-98 by the Templeton Foundation's Honor Roll for Character Building Colleges, as well as its 1997-98 Honor Rolls for Education in a Free Society, which recognizes America's academic best.
Father Michael's duties include tasks such as fund raising for the university and working with outreach ministries, including the university's summer conferences and FIRE, a national Catholic evangelization ministry. He also will continue to host the nationally broadcast television program "Franciscan University Presents" shown on EWTN.
Father Michael is a member of the Board for the Christian Film and Television Commission. He also serves as president of FIRE, a Catholic alliance for Faith, Intercession, Repentance and Evangelism.
Father Michael has published numerous articles in religious periodicals and more than 16 books and booklets. A speaker at national and international conferences, he leads pilgrimages all over the world.
He received the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice in 1990, the Founders Award from the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars in 1993 and the Protector Award from the Pro-Life Action League in 1995. In 1997 he received the Sacrae Theologiae Magister, an academic degree beyond the doctorate earned by demonstrating competency in the field of theology. It is the highest honor given by the Franciscan Order, and it is held by only two other Third Order Regular friars.
Father Michael was ordained to the priesthood in 1964, after entering the Franciscan Third Order Regular in 1957. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1956 and served as Staff Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force and gained admittance to the New York Bar Association.