Seton Hall’s Sister Rose Thering Fund names new program manager

Clare Giangreco
Clare Giangreco

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at Seton Hall University has selected Clare Giangreco as its new program manager. Giangreco brings more than 35 years of professional experience in both ministerial and corporate leadership roles, as well as personal interest in the fund’s mission.

“I am excited and thrilled to join the Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies,” Giangreco, an East Brunswick resident, said in a university press release. “In today’s times, religious tolerance is such a high focus in society, so this is a great opportunity for me to get involved in this important area and make a real impact in the lives of educators and students through the mission of the fund.”

“We are pleased to welcome Clare Giangreco as program manager,” Millburn resident Deborah Lerner Duane, chairwoman of the Sister Rose Thering Fund, said in the release. “Her extensive corporate background, enriched by a second career that includes fundraising and program development, will enable the fund to reach the ambitious goals we have set for ourselves.”

“Jewish-Christian Studies is so important because it works to bridge religious faiths together, especially reaching our youth through education,” Giangreco said. “I am impressed by how committed and engaged the Seton Hall community is to the fund’s mission and to bridging that gap.”

Giangreco steps in for Marilyn Zirl, who retired earlier this year.

“Marilyn Zirl served as administrative assistant to Sister Rose Thering for four years, then continued to complete 16 years as administrator of the Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies,” professor David Bossman of Charleston, S.C., executive director of the Sister Rose Thering Fund, said. “Finding her successor was very challenging since Marilyn knew Sister Rose and worked closely with her. Clare Giangreco comes with considerable program management expertise and we look forward to working with her as program manager in extending the legacy of Sister Rose.”

Seton Hall is not new to Giangreco, as she received a master’s degree in pastoral ministry in 2000 from Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, graduating with the John Paul II Medal for Academic Excellence.

“Seton Hall is a community that is a leader in Jewish-Christian Studies,” Giangreco said. “I feel a great level of comfort and appreciation to be able to return to Seton Hall and I am proud to be part of the university as an alumna and now employee.”

Giangreco’s career began in the corporate sector. After receiving a master’s degree in mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, she joined IBM as a systems analyst. Her talent and commitment were recognized during her 22-year career there, where she held a broad scope of management and leadership positions across multiple lines of business.

She decided to make the transition to ministry after getting involved with her local church.

“In part it was an opportunity to take the good from the corporate environment and bring positive change for the good of the Church and the people,” Giangreco said.

She most recently served as program director at the Stella Maris Retreat Center in Long Branch since 2012. At Stella Maris, she was responsible for planning, developing and guiding retreats and day programs. Before joining the retreat center, she was on staff for 11 years at the Diocese of Metuchen, where for the first several years she was associate director of institutional advancement, raising funds to support the then more than 40 Catholic elementary schools and six Diocesan high schools. Previously, she was director of liturgical formation for the Diocese.

“The board of the Sister Rose Thering Fund looks forward to working with Clare, as together we achieve our mission to advance the legacy of Sister Rose by fostering understanding and cooperation among Jews, Christians and people of other religious traditions through advocacy and education,” Lerner Duane said.

The fund provides full tuition assistance for elementary, middle and high school educators in public, parochial and private institutions. Scholarship opportunities are available for the fall 2016 semester; if interested, send an email to

The Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies was created and named in honor of Sister Rose Thering in recognition and appreciation of her exemplary dedication throughout her life. The fund continues this legacy to improve Jewish-Christian relations through teacher education, especially at the elementary and secondary school levels. The goals of the fund’s programs are to reduce prejudice born of ignorance and misperception, to promote means for conveying the richness of the Jewish and Christian traditions accurately and without bias and to foster cooperation among Jews and Christians in areas of common social welfare. More than 400 teachers throughout New Jersey have benefited from fund scholarships for their studies at Seton Hall University’s Jewish-Christian Studies graduate program during the past two decades, and have had an impact on more than 150,000 students in their classes.

For more information about the Sister Rose Thering Fund, visit