Fr. Neil J. O'Connell, OFM
FRIEDSAM MEMORIAL LIBRARY
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Fr. Neil was named St. Bonaventure's eighteenth president in 1990. He was born on May 21, 1937 in Buffalo, NY. Fr. Neil was received into the Franciscan Order in 1961 and by 1964 he was ordained a priest. He received his bachelor's degrees from St. Bonaventure in 1960 and from the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. in 1964. He earned his master's degree in history, from Siena College in 1967 and a doctorate, also in history, from the University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. in 1970. Before coming back to St. Bonaventure, Fr. Neil held many teaching positions at various schools from Oxford, England to Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, NY. From 1986 to 1989 he served at Iona College as Dean of Faculty. Through efforts of a committee established for the purpose of finding a replacement for Fr. Mathias Doyle, the University's president of fifteen years, Fr. Neil chosen as the eighteenth president of St. Bonaventure University.
At the time he accepted the presidency the University faced several tough decisions, especially with problems facing its budget. In December of 1992 the Faculty at St. Bonaventure passed a vote of no confidence in Fr. Neil, citing overspending the University's money on sports as a major problem. In May of 1993 Fr. Neil decided to resign, Sr. Alice Gallin, OSF, was appointed the University's interim president until a permanent president was found.
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NAME: O'CONNELL, NEIL J. (FR) (OFM)
DATE OF BIRTH: 1937-05-21
PLACE OF BIRTH: BUFFALO, N.Y.
RECEPTION INTO ORDER: 1961
ORDINATION DATE: 1964
WHERE ORDAINED: WASHINGTON, D.C.
SERVED AT SBU: 1990-1993
SERVED AS PRES.: 1990-1993
SERVED ELSEWHERE: FISK UNIVERSITY, ERIE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, ELIZABETH SETON COLLEGE, IONA COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OXFORD, ENGLAND.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: CHAIR OF HISTORY DEPT. AT FISK UNIV.,1960 B.A. IN PHIL AND CLASSICS AT SBU, MA IN ENGLISH SIENA COLLEGE 1967, PHD. HISTORY WITH ENG LIT MINOR 1967\ ACADEMIC DEAN ERIE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 1980-1986\ DEAN OF FACULTY ELIZABETH SETON COLLEGE 1986-1989\ ELECTED EIGHTEENTH PRESIDENT ST. BONAVENTURE 1990
LOCATION OF PHOTOS: ARCHIVES, FOUNDERS ROOM
"Calling himself transitional president, Rev. Neil O'Connell, OFM, resigns; noted academic administrator to manage interim period." News (St. Bonaventure University) May 13, 1993.
St. Bonaventure University Archives, Presidents File.
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This page was created by Kevin Lawless as part of an internship during the Fall 2004 semester. Any changes, other than minor editing, are noted at the bottom of the page.
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Created 08/30/04 by Kevin
Last updated: 03/02/06