CALDWELL, New Jersey — A Catholic university founded by nuns in New Jersey more than 80 years ago announced Tuesday that its next leader will be the school’s first male lay president.

Caldwell University said Matthew Whelan will become the school’s president on July 1. He currently serves as a vice president at Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York.

A New Jersey native, Whelan will succeed Nancy Blattner, who became Caldwell’s first-ever lay president in 2009. Blattner is leaving her post to become president of Fontbonne University in Missouri, another Catholic institution.

Caldwell was founded in 1939 by the Sisters of Saint Dominic as a women’s college. The then-Archbishop of Newark was named its first president, and the school was led by several nuns over the years. Caldwell went co-ed in 1986 and became a university in 2014.

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