As Stonehill’s sixth president, (Rev.) Ernest Bartell, C.S.C., who died last week, oversaw continued academic growth and new construction at the College. In addition, while operating without a deficit during his six year tenure, he grew the endowment to $2 million from next to nothing.

Serving from 1971 to 1977, he was the first Stonehill president to be recommended by a search committee as opposed to being appointed by a Congregation of Holy Cross Provincial. 

Until 1972, responsibility for the College was vested in the Eastern Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross.  Subsequently, responsibility was transferred to an elected and primarily lay Board of Trustees.

A noted economist and educator, Fr. Bartell succeeded in moving us forward across a variety of challenging fronts. His financial accomplishments are considerable and really helped the College to make that leap to growing our endowment, finding greater fiscal stability. Whenever I met him, he always inquired about the College and took satisfaction in our progress. To me personally, he was very kind and supportive.

Under Fr. Bartell, the College Center was built (1973), the Anthony E. Casino Wing was added to the Library (1976) and Hemingway Auditorium was remodeled and expanded to become Hemingway Theatre (1973).

Residence space increased when Holy Cross Fathers Seminary was leased from the Congregation and renamed Holy Cross Center in 1974. Ground was also broken for the construction of St. Mary’s Chapel and the Human Resources Center.

New majors in Finance and Marketing and minors in Asian, Irish and Environmental studies were added to the curriculum.  A co-operative educational program with several other colleges in Southeastern Massachusetts (SACHEM) was started, which increased the number of courses available for students and provided expanded library services. Student service organizations evolved to meet contemporary needs and emphasized assistance to those in need.

Fr. Bartell’s legacy continues at the College through the Ann and Joe Bartell Scholarship. Created in honor of his parents, the scholarship provides full tuition for a student over four years.

Read more about Fr. Bartell from Notre Dame, where he served as director of the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies until his retirement in 1997