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William F. Connell School of Nursing

About William F. Connell

william f. connell school of nursing

William F Connell

Thanks to the generosity of the late William F. Connell, Boston College School of Nursing will now be known as the William F. Connell School of Nursing.

Sadly, William F. Connell lost his battle with cancer on August 22, 2001, leaving his wife Margot, three daughters (including our alumna Lisa McNamara), three sons, and seven grandchildren. Mr. Connell was a graduate of Boston College and Harvard Business School and Vice Chair of Boston College's Board of Trustees. He was chairman and chief executive officer of Connell Limited Partnership, one of the largest privately owned companies in the United States, a company that recycles metals and manufactures industrial equipment. An astute businessman, who made the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans by betting on Rust Belt America in the 1980's when others were writing it off, Mr. Connell used to joke humbly that he was a "junk man."

What especially distinguished William Connell was the confidence others had in his judgment and his commitment to giving back. In his 63 years, this son of Irish immigrants made a fortune and gave a fortune away, including $10 million to the Boston College School of Nursing. He took great joy in sharing his wealth and his time. In Mr. Connell's words, "If you get lucky, you're supposed to share. People are rich when they have what they need in the world - a nice family, a good education, the opportunity to participate in the community, to see your children do well. That is rich."

The Boston College School of Nursing will benefit greatly from the generosity of the William F. Connell family. Our mission of service to others, truth through scholarly inquiry, and justice through promotion of equal access to healthcare for all people, was strongly endorsed by Mr. Connell and will help ensure that his legacy lives on.

William Connell's dedication ceremony outside Cushing Hall

Connell School Dedication

On September 12, 2003, Boston College formally dedicated its school of nursing in honor of the late William F. Connell. The dedication began with a symposium in Robsham Theater on "Meeting the Nation's Need for Nurses," bringing together representatives from the nursing, hospital and insurance sectors. WBZ-TV "HealthWatch" reporter Mallika Marshall, M.D. served as moderator, with panelists Beverly Malone, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (UK); Michael F. Collins, M.D., president and CEO of Caritas Health Care; and Charles D. Baker, president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

Following the symposium, a dedication ceremony was held outside Cushing Hall, which houses the Connell School of Nursing. Remarks were offered by University President William P. Leahy, S.J., University Chancellor J. Donald Monan, S.J., and Connell School Dean Barbara Hazard, as well as Connell family friend U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass).

William Connell's family, including his widow, Margot, took part in the day's events. All six of their children graduated from Boston College; their daughter Lisa Connell McNamara '89 is a Connell School alumna.