Sister Mary Reap previously served as president of Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania, from 1988 to 2007. Founded in 1915 by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Marywood was the first Catholic women’s college in Pennsylvania.
A native of Archbald, Pennsylvania, and raised in Binghamton, New York, Sister Mary was called to her vocation in her third year as a student at Marywood College, joining the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1961. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish from Marywood in 1965 and a master of arts degree in Spanish from Assumption College in 1972.
She returned to her alma mater as a faculty member in 1973 and later held positions as the dean of the undergraduate school for women, chair of the education department and graduate department of education, director of the off-campus degree program, and director of international students. In 1979, she earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from The Pennsylvania State University.
During Sister Mary’s presidency, Marywood established many new undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs, including majors in physician’s assistant, art therapy, aviation management, biotechnology, information sciences, and sports nutrition and exercise science.
In 1997, Sister Mary led the transformation of Marywood from a college to a university. In 2003, that process was manifested in the restructuring of the university into four colleges: Liberal Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Development, Health and Human Services, and Creative Arts and Management. The College of Creative Arts and Management is among the first of its kind in the nation, recognizing the emerging trend of blending business and art in the development of educational and career opportunities.
After her retirement from the presidency of Marywood in 2007, Sister Mary coordinated the work of the International Affairs Office at Marywood, and served as a senior consultant for Yaffe & Company, a firm which specializes in leadership and governance services for not-for-profit organizations. She also served as president of the Middle States Association, the organization of colleges and secondary schools recognized as the regional accrediting body for educational institutions in six states, United States territories, and other institutions abroad. She conducted numerous campus accreditation visits for both the MSA and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, she served on the board of Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton, and served two terms as a member of the Presidents and Bishops Education Committee for the United States Conference of Bishops.