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June 14, 1948 – May 22, 2013

The Rev. Stephen J. Denig, Ph.D., a tenured professor in Niagara University’s College of Education, died Wednesday at St. Catherine’s Infirmary, Philadelphia, after a long illness. He was 64.

Born in Queens, he graduated magna cum laude from Niagara University in 1971, with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.

Father Denig received a master’s degree in divinity from Mary Immaculate Seminary in 1974 and a master’s in theology from the seminary in 1981.

He was ordained a Vincentian priest May 17, 1975.

He began his career in education in 1976 as a teacher of religion, mathematics and computers at Archbishop Wood High School for Boys in Warminster, Pa.

In 1985, he was named the headmaster of St. Joseph’s Preparatory Seminary in Princeton, N.J., a position he held until 1992. In 1993, he was the instructor of educational administration at Rutgers University.

Over the years, Father Denig continued his education, earning a master of arts in educational administration in 1990 from Rider College, and a doctorate in educational administration from Rutgers University in 1994.

He was an assistant professor from 1996 to 2002 at St. John’s University, where he also was an assistant dean from 1996 to 1998.

Father Denig joined the faculty at Niagara University in 2002. His research included the history of religious education and the comparisons of private and public education. His work was widely published and included a number of articles on student achievement and the role of mission in Catholic education.

He also was active in the work of Niagara University and served in a number of positions outside of the classroom, including the Strategic Planning Committee, Diversity Committee and the Middle States Steering Committee.

He also served on the University Senate, was the moderator for the men’s and women’s swimming teams, and the alumni chaplain.

A funeral Mass will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in St. Vincent’s Seminary Community Chapel, Philadelphia.