Stonehill’s Second Endowed Chair Announced
September 13, 2010
A gift of $1.5 million will underwrite an endowed chair named in honor of the late Rev. Francis Hurley, C.S.C., the father of biology at Stonehill. The announcement was made by Fr. Hurley's sister, Margaret Vanderslice, along with her husband Thomas, at a special dinner reception held in the Pettit Atrium of the Shields Science Center on Saturday, September 11.
Fr. Hurley, who passed away last January, chaired Stonehill's Biology Department for 32 years. The inaugural holder of the Rev. Francis J. Hurley, C.S.C. Chair in Biology will be named prior to the start of the 2011-2012 academic year. It is the second endowed chair in the College's history as The Lawrence and Theresa Salameno Endowed Chair in History was named in 2006.
"We all miss him very much and we thank Stonehill for everything it has done. We all appreciate it," said Margaret Vanderslice, speaking on behalf of the family, many of whom were in attendance at Saturday's dinner along with friends and colleagues of Fr. Hurley's. Prior to the reception, a Mass in memory of Fr. Hurley was celebrated at the Chapel of Mary.
"We hope this will encourage others to donate to the College," said Tom Vanderslice. "Endowed chairs are such an important part of a college's tradition and growth."
Rev. Thomas Looney, C.S.C. '82 made an additional surprise announcement that the biology wing in the Shields Science Center would be known as the Rev. Francis J. Hurley, C.S.C. Biology Wing thanks to a half million dollar gift to the Attaining The Summit campaign made by the Congregation of Holy Cross Eastern Province.
"Fr. Hurley, a scholar and man of faith, was a beacon of light and hope to those who came to this campus through his love for the study and teaching of biology," said Fr. Looney. "It was decided in light of Fr. Hurley's profound dedication and service to Stonehill College and the Biology Department, that it would be most fitting that [the Congregation's] gift be designated to the Shields Science Center."
Also speaking at the event was Chair of the Biology Department Magdalena James-Pederson, Dr. Judith McDowell '69, Benjamin Seidel '07, and Stonehill President Rev. Mark Cregan, C.S.C. '78. Professor of Biology Maura Tyrrell served as the master of ceremonies.
"It is so fitting that Stonehill's first Endowed Chair in science will carry his name and continue to support the field of study that he so dearly loved," said James-Pederson.