Fr. Adelmann graduated from Boston College in 1937, the same year he entered the Society of Jesus. He was ordained in 1947 and joined the faculty in 1954, serving as Philosophy Department chairman from that year until 1965. He retired in 1985, having spent his entire academic career at Boston College, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the 1985 Commencement Exercises.
Last year, Patrick Carney '70 and his wife Lillian made a gift establishing the Frederick J. Adelmann, SJ, Chair in Philosophy. The chair is held by one of Fr. Adelmann's former colleagues, Jacques Taminiaux.
"When I arrived at Boston College, I soon realized that not only was Fr. Adelmann an excellent scholar, but he was also really worshipped by his students," Taminiaux told Chronicle in 1995, shortly after his appointment to the Adelmann Chair.
Frederick J. Adelmann, SJA life-long friend of Fr. Adelmann, Patrick Carney said at the time of Taminiaux's appointment, "thousands of BC alumni have had the pleasure of knowing him over the years, so it is appropriate to remember the achievements of [Fr. Adelmann's] life while recognizing the fond memories of our friendship."
While at Boston College, Fr. Adelmann established and edited the journal Boston College Studies in Philosophy , and published five books and numerous articles in philosophical journals.
Fr. Adelmann was buried at the Campion Center Jesuit Cemetery in Weston.
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