Friends and fellow educators are remembering Nutley resident Dr. Joseph DePierro, a longtime educator and Dean at Seton Hall University, who died Sept. 17 after a long illness, school officials said.
DePierro had stepped down as a dean earlier this year, according to A. Gabriel Esteban, Seton Hall University president.
DePierro, Dean Emeritus of the College of Education and Human Services at Seton Hall dedicated his life to improving education and was a prominent advocate for educators in New Jersey, officials said. He was a faculty member at Seton Hall University for 42 years.
Seton Hall officials said he was proud of both teaching and working for the Equal Opportunity Program at Seton Hall.
In Nutley. DePierro was a member of Nutley UNICO and severed on the scholarship committee.
Grace May is the current dean of Seton Hall’s College of Education and Human Services.
May said in a statement, “Dr. DePierro loved Seton Hall, and especially the College of Education and Human Services. He was a leader that inspired hard work, innovation, and devotion to the central tenets of our college mission: service to children, families, and communities.”
May said DePierro loved coming to work and leading the department, embraced challenges and saw them as opportunities. He welcomed new ideas, encouraged creativity and celebrated the department’s victories, she said.
“Like an actor’s director, he was a professor’s dean,” May said in her statement. “At heart, Dr. DePierro was a natural teacher who never lost his passion for what it meant to trigger the ‘aha’ moment for a student.”
Dr. DePierro’s memory will remain, supported by the programs, relationships, and opportunities he helped to create, she said.
Esteban quoted this Bible passage in memory of DePierro: “Now someone approached him and said, ‘Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?’ And he said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter into life, keep the commandments’” (Matt 19:16-17).
“Dean DePierro has been an integral member of the Seton Hall family for many years, first as an undergraduate, then a faculty member, program director, department chair, accreditation leader and dean,” Esteban said in a statement. “He served our community of learning wholeheartedly and loyally for more than 40 years.”
Esteban said DePierro was a recognized leader in his discipline, an “educator’s educator,” and was a highly regarded professor and mentor to countless students who have gone on to be teachers and administrators at all levels of education in the state of New Jersey and far beyond.
“He was a treasured colleague and a reliable friend to so many of us,” Esteban said. “Joe DePierro will be missed beyond measure.”