St. Joseph's Preparatory School announced Thursday that the Rev. John W. Swope, a native of Drexel Hill and a 1972 graduate, will become president of the Jesuit school for boys in June.
Swope will succeed the Rev. George W. Bur, who is stepping down after seven years at the helm of the North Philadelphia school. Bur said when he took the position that he planned to stay only seven years. He said he was awaiting a new assignment from the Jesuit order.
Since 2006, Swope has served as founding president of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore, which provides a Jesuit education to students who typically will become the first in their families to attend college.
He worked with benefactors, community leaders, and foundations to build support for the school.
Paul Geraghty, chairman of the board of St. Joseph's Prep, said he was excited by the executive capabilities Swope would bring to the school.
"We are thrilled to have his leadership and administrative expertise to build upon the Prep's long-held mission of academic excellence and urban outreach," Geraghty said in a statement.
Swope, a graduate of King's College in Wilkes-Barre, has a doctorate in sociology from the University of London.
Before his work in Baltimore, he held several educational and administrative positions in the United States and Chile. He was executive director of the Secretariat for the Church in Latin America of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington from 2000 to 2002.
Swope, who has been a trustee at the Prep and of St. Joseph's University, said he was "excited and humbled by the opportunity to be the next president of St. Joseph's Prep and to continue the legacy that has stretched over 160-plus years."