Sept. 22, 2005 • Volume 14 Number 2
Trustee, Museum Benefactor McMullen Dies
John J. McMullen, a former University trustee and trustee associate who was a long-time benefactor of Boston College, died on Sept. 16 at his home in Montclair, NJ. He was 87.
University Chancellor J. Donald Monan, SJ, was one of several concelebrants at Mr. McMullen's funeral Mass, held Wednesday at Immaculate Conception Church in Montclair.
In 1996, Mr. McMullen made a gift to Boston College in memory of his late parents - Charles S. and Isabella V. McMullen - to dedicate the University's art museum in their honor.
"I've long had an interest in museums, art and collections," said Mr. McMullen at the time his gift was announced. "As one approaches the golden years, you tend to think back to beginnings and that, for me, means my mother and father. They would be very proud to have their names identified with BC's beautiful Museum of Art."
Ten years earlier, Mr. McMullen had honored one of his earliest friends at Boston College by establishing the Sidney MacNeill, SJ, Room in Bapst Library.
Interviewed earlier this week, McMullen Museum Director Prof. Nancy Netzer (Fine Arts) said: "John McMullen was the kind of patron saint every museum director hopes he or she will inherit. He was infinitely wise, engaged at every turn, committed, creative and a wonderful supportive friend. Everyone associated with the McMullen Museum loved him and will miss him. His thoughts and ideas will always be with us."
A 1940 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Mr. McMullen served 15 years in the Navy. He earned a master's degree in naval architecture and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
In 1959, he founded John J. McMullen Associates, an international firm of naval architects and marine engineers known for its innovations in commercial and naval ship design. In 1992, Mr. McMullen acquired Norton Lilly International, a shipping agency he operated until 2002. He was also president of United States Lines from 1968 to 1971.
Mr. McMullen was also involved in the ownership of several professional sports teams. He purchased a limited share of the New York Yankees in 1974 and was owner of the Houston Astros from 1979-1992.
He is also credited with bringing a National Hockey League team to New Jersey, acquiring the former Colorado franchise in 1982 and moving it to the Garden State as the New Jersey Devils. During his 18-year ownership, the Devils twice won the Stanley Cup as NHL champions.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Jacqueline Everhart McMullen, two sons and a daughter. His son Peter is a 1981 graduate of Boston College.
-Reid Oslin •