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Robert F. Drinan, S.J.

a tribute

Father DrinanDear members of the Boston College community:

As many of you already know, Father Robert F. Drinan, S.J. died recently after a brief illness, surrounded by members of his family. Father Drinan was a beloved figure at Boston College. He served as the Dean of the Law School from 1956 to 1970. Throughout his tenure as Dean he devoted his talent and boundless energy to raising the national stature of the Law School. During his long career he also served as a professor, lawyer, politician, and human rights activist. But he was always, by his own account, a priest first. He received more than twenty honorary degrees, including degrees from Georgetown, Loyola (Chicago), Villanova, Syracuse, and Santa Clara. He received a Founders Medal from the Law School in 1992, and the Distinguished Service Award in 2004.

It is difficult to say in a few words what Father Drinan means to this institution. It is safe to say that his efforts as Dean forever changed how the Law School does business, taking us from a regional school to a nationally recognized leader in legal education. He did this without diminishing the essential core of what makes BC Law special, maintaining our commitment to educating the whole person—mind, body and spirit—while nourishing a community of learners intent on supporting one another in reaching their common goal. When we say that Boston College Law School educates “lawyers who lead good lives,” we need look no further than Father Drinan to understand what those words mean. We are forever in his debt.

John Garvey
Boston College Law School

Father Drinan: a Recollection

Father Drinan's Office

Boston College Chronicle
Boston College Magazine
Boston Globe
75th Kickoff Event: Robert Drinan, S.J. (Article and Video Footage)

Other Coverage: Georgetown Law's Memory Page