Edward J. Mortola

Edward Joseph Mortola
Edward Joseph Mortola

Term of office:

Fordham University (B.A. 1938; MA 1941; PhD 1946)

Professional background: Lieutenant commander, United States Navy Reserve; Instructor at the Midshipmen's School at Columbia University; Assistant Registrar and Professor of Mathematics (Fordham University); Professor of Mathematics (The Cooper Union)

Immediate past position: Vice president and provost, Pace College

Edward Joseph Mortola came to Pace Institute in 1947 as assistant dean. Holding increasingly important leadership positions, over the next 43 years he provided visionary leadership, dramatically increased enrollment, and expanded the University’s academic programs. During Mortola's tenure the Undergraduate School of Business Administration (1965), the Schools of Arts and Sciences (1965), as well as the schools of education (1965), nursing (1966), law (1976), and Computer Science and Information Sytems (1983) were established. He also increased the reach of Pace’s landscape of learning by establishing new campuses in Westchester County: Pleasantville in 1963, White Plains in 1975, and Briarcliff in 1978. In 1969, a $20 million campus building complex (One Pace Plaza) was completed on the site of Pace’s first location on Park Row in lower Manhattan, across the street from City Hall. A midtown center opened in 1976 to serve corporations and business professionals. Under Mortola’s direction, Pace achieved University status in 1973.

Mortola served as president of Pace from 1960 until 1984, when, upon reaching his 70th birthday, he was appointed to the newly created position of chancellor and his responsibilities as president were transferred to William G. Sharwell. Mortola served as the University's chancellor until February 1987.

When asked in 1986 how he wished to be remembered, Dr. Mortola replied: "When I look down the road traveled and the road ahead, I suppose that, most importantly, I would like to be remembered as someone who cared, someone who felt that he had many friends at Pace, someone who spent his life on behalf of this institution and felt that every moment of it was worthwhile."

After a long illness, Edward J. Mortola died on October 22, 2002. He was 85. At the time of his death, Mortola was a member of the University's board of trustees and held the title of Chancellor Emeritus.

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