Former Notre Dame de Namur University President John B. (Jack) Oblak Passes Away

Served as the university’s president from 2000 to 2007

For Immediate Release (3/29/2017)Jack Oblak

Belmont, Calif.—Former Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) President John B. (Jack) Oblak passed away on March 23 at Chester County Hospital in West Chester, Pennsylvania, near his home. As NDNU’s president, Jack Oblak led the effort to rename the university (previously College of Notre Dame) and established a four-school structure for the academic programs.

“Jack Oblak was a lifelong educator and theater professional,” said President Judith Greig of Notre Dame de Namur University. “He held leadership positions at several campuses, culminating in his tenure as president of NDNU. He was dedicated to social justice through higher education.”

During Jack Oblak’s term as president, the university began to implement its campus Master Plan, with the assistance of a $2M gift from the Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Foundation, at that time the largest philanthropic donation the university had ever received. During his tenure, NDNU built New Hall, adding significantly to the residence hall space for undergraduates.The athletic field was converted to artificial turf and renamed Koret Field, and the Ferrari Plaza was added.

NDNU also successfully increased the institution’s endowment. The university developed the Strategic Plan 2007–2010, prioritizing four sets of academic programs, including teacher education, business, psychology, and natural sciences. NDNU also began the bachelor’s program in kinesiology during this period.

In addition to his duties as president, Jack Oblak participated in university theater productions, including a part in the world premiere of Tim Robbins’s stage adaption of Dead Man Walking, and the role of the Ghost of Christmas Future in A Christmas Carol.


Notre Dame de Namur University is a Catholic, not-for-profit, coeducational institution serving approximately 1,700 traditional-aged and adult students from diverse backgrounds. Established in 1851 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, NDNU maintains a strong commitment to access for diverse populations, academic excellence, social justice and community engagement. The university is fully accredited and offers a rich variety of undergraduate, graduate and credential programs. The historic, 50-acre campus is located on the San Francisco Peninsula in Silicon Valley. For more information, visit



Zack Rogow
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