Rev. James Donald Monan, S.J., the 24th president of Boston College and its current chancellor, passed away on Saturday at the age of 92.
Monan was responsible for building much of the University as we currently know it. He oversaw the construction of most buildings on Lower Campus and the purchase of Newton Campus. Under his guidance, the number of on-campus students at BC surpassed the number of commuter students for the first time, and reached 76 percent by the end of his tenure. Thanks to Monan, students are able to live on campus in community with one another, and to form friendships and connections that last lifetimes.
When Monan became University president, Boston College faced a deficit of $4 million. By the time he left office, 1996, the endowment stood at $590 million, a testament to his extraordinary success.
He helped to make BC a nationally recognized research University with an outstanding academic reputation. By the time he left office, BC had risen to 40th in the U.S. News and World Report rankings, and entered the category of “most competitive” schools, according to Barron’s. Monan helped the University rise in the ranks, establishing BC as one of the top academic and athletic institutions in the world.
Perhaps most importantly, Monan made it his mission to interact with students throughout his time as president. In an interview with The Heights in 1972, he stated that he found his conversations with students to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of his job. Monan achieved enormous success during his time as University president, and will be commemorated for both his tangible achievements and his commitment to the Jesuit spirit that continues to inspire administrators, teachers, and students alike. He will be remembered as the most influential figure in BC’s history. Thank you, Fr. Monan.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Office of University Communications