Dr. Darryl De Marzio Named Executive Director of Portsmouth Institute

Portsmouth Abbey is pleased to announce that Dr. Darryl De Marzio will be the next Executive Director of the Portsmouth Institute, Portsmouth Abbey’s Benedictine center for Catholic thought, liturgy, and culture. De Marzio assumes the role on June 16, after having served as a faculty member in Portsmouth Abbey School’s Humanities Program and as the Portsmouth Institute’s inaugural Leclercq Fellow for Benedictine Education.  

“We are thrilled to welcome Darryl as our new Executive Director to build on the great accomplishments of the Portsmouth Institute, especially as we dedicate ourselves to advancing a vision of Benedictine education in service to students, teachers, and lifelong learners,” said Abbot Michael Brunner, O.S.B., the superior of Portsmouth Abbey and chairman of the Portsmouth Institute. “Darryl is deeply knowledgeable about the philosophy and practice of Catholic education, has extensive experience in designing transformative experiences for students and teachers, has led liberal arts programs in continuing education, and knows our own community well, having served as a member of our faculty since 2022.” 

Before joining the Abbey community, De Marzio served on the University of Scranton faculty as Professor of the Foundations of Education, where he taught courses in philosophy and educational theory for fifteen years. He served terms as Chair of the Education Department and as Director of Undergraduate Programs. He has published articles in such journals as Educational Theory, Teachers College Record, and Studies in Philosophy and Education, and has edited two books. He has served on the Committee on Pre-College Instruction in Philosophy of the American Philosophical Association and is a past president of the Middle Atlantic States Philosophy of Education Society. 

“I am honored by the trust and confidence that Abbot Michael Brunner and the Board of Advisors have placed in me to serve as the Portsmouth Institute’s next Executive Director,” said De Marzio. “This is truly an exciting and critical moment for the Portsmouth Institute. The proliferation of opportunities to grow in Catholic intellectual and spiritual life in the U.S. over the last several years, including in the renewal of Catholic education, has made apparent a growing desire for recovering the Benedictine approach to learning, fellowship, and prayer which the Portsmouth Institute uniquely offers. Grounded in our three pillars of Christian humanism, lectio divina, and monastic liturgy, I look forward to leading the Portsmouth Institute as we continue to offer transformative encounters with Christ. The Portsmouth Institute is well-poised to elevate its mission of restoring a vibrant Christian culture and I am thrilled to be in this role.” 

"Dr. De Marzio is the perfect selection to continue the work begun by Chris Fisher,” said Portsmouth Abbey Head of School Matt Walter. “And I look forward to working with him as we seek additional ways in which the School and the Institute can collaborate to assist each other in achieving their mission and goals.” 

Born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, De Marzio attended Blair Academy as a four-year boarding student. He majored in philosophy at Drew University and then completed a master's degree in elementary education at Montclair State University where he also served as Director of Field Services for the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children. He later attended Columbia University earning master's and doctoral degrees in philosophy and education. He was awarded the Merryman Prize for excellence in the graduate study of philosophy and education and his dissertation, The Teacher as Ethical Subject, was awarded distinction by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University. 

De Marzio lives in St. Mary’s House at Portsmouth Abbey with his wife, Anne, who is a member of the English Department at Portsmouth Abbey School, and their three children: Dino ’26, Iris, and Romola. 

Founded in 2009, the Portsmouth Institute for Faith and Culture is a Benedictine center for Catholic thought, liturgy, and culture. It invites students, teachers, and lifelong learners to experience “the love of learning and desire for God” through the Benedictine life of learning, fellowship, and prayer. The Institute is an apostolate of Portsmouth Abbey Monastery and School.