October 23, 2019

Board of Trustees unanimously approves appointment of Dr. Murphy, an experienced higher education leader and former president of Nicholls State University.

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J., Oct. 23, 2019—The Centenary University Board of Trustees today unanimously approved the appointment of Bruce Murphy, Ed.D., as the University’s 14th president. Dr. Murphy will begin his tenure at Centenary on Jan. 1.

In making the announcement, Board Chair Wolfgang Gstattenbauer cited Dr. Murphy’s extensive background in higher education administration and thoughtful insights into growing Centenary University. “This was an extremely thorough process that began with more than 70 applicants,” Gstattenbauer said. “While the board considered several strong candidates, Dr. Murphy impressed us, drawing on his leadership at other higher education institutions to present a thoughtful plan to lead Centenary University into a strong future.”

Dr. Murphy is currently a consultant with the Registry for College and University Presidents, an organization that fosters the placement of interim presidents at institutions in transition. He was the fifth president of Nicholls State University in Louisiana and was also a professor of educational leadership there.

A U.S. Army veteran, Dr. Murphy retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He taught leadership courses at West Point and was vice president for academic affairs at the U.S. Air Force’s Air University in Alabama. Dr. Murphy’s higher education career has also included teaching posts at Vanderbilt University and Mercyhurst College, where he was the founding director of the Master of Science in organizational leadership program and chair of the Walker School of Business. In addition, he was the founding dean of the School of Business and professor of management at Point Park University.

Dr. Murphy earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Vanderbilt University, master’s degrees from Teachers College at Columbia University and the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He looks forward to beginning his tenure at Centenary University. “I’m very impressed with the Centenary University community,” Dr. Murphy said. “The University’s passion for excellence is evident everywhere you look, from its dedicated faculty and students, to new career-focused academic programs. I’m grateful for the board’s confidence in selecting me to lead Centenary University into a new era.”


Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at two locations, Parsippany and Edison, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.

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