Father Bernard F. O'Connor
Father Bernard F. O'Connor was Northampton Community College's (NCC) winter commencement speaker on Saturday, January 30, at 11:00 a.m. at the Arthur L. Scott Spartan Center at the Main Campus, 3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem Township. August 2015 graduates were honored along with winter 2016 graduates.
O'Connor has been the president of DeSales University, formerly Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, since July 1, 1999. He orchestrated the transition to DeSales University in 2001.
He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from The Catholic University of America in 1969 and 1971 respectively. In 1974 he earned a second master's degree in theology from the De Sales Hall School of Theology. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1973.
O'Connor joined Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales as an instructor in 1974. He served as an assistant professor of philosophy and chair of the philosophy department from 1980 through 1987. In 1986, he earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America. In 1987 he was named associate professor and chair of the philosophy and theology departments. In 1994 he became academic dean of the institution, and in 1995 the executive vice president overseeing the work of academic affairs, enrollment management and student life for all undergraduate studies.
At present, he has serves as the chairman of the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges. He is a member of the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park Board, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Additionally, he is the chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the board of trustees of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary of Philadelphia.
O'Connor is the author of A Dialogue between Philosophy and Religion: The Perspective of Karl Jaspers. He belongs to the American Philosophical Association, the American Catholic Philosophical Association and the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. He was elected to the 15th General Chapter of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in Paderborn, Germany.
He received the Sears Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award in 1990.
"We are both pleased and honored to have Father O'Connor as our winter commencement speaker, especially since many of our students chose to continue their education at DeSales," says Dr. Mark Erickson, president of Northampton Community College.