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J. Donald Monan, S.J.

celebrating 75 years

9/20/05--On September 13, in front of a standing-room only crowd of students and faculty, J. Donald Monan, S.J., accepted the Boston College Distinguished Service Award from Dean John Garvey for over thirty years of dedication to the school.

View video from the event

Currently serving as Chancellor of Boston College, a position he acquired in 1996, Father Monan holds the distinction of having served as Boston College president for 24 years—the longest tenure in school history.

Speaking in a room that he helped bring into existence—in fact, he helped acquire the entire Law School campus—Monan expounded on the bond between BC, the Law Achool, and the community at large. “Knowledge is a light that helps illuminate the world in which we live,” he said. “And Boston College helps men and women find the potential to make their own futures—indeed to make themselves.”

Monan recalled his many years of educational pursuits, which have yielded him honorary doctoral degrees from thirteen colleges and universities, including Boston College, and spoke of the Jesuit tradition, their development as an order, and their strong commitment to education, culture, and law. “Law is the most powerful barometer with which to measure the quality of the world that we live in,” he said. “In order to continue this great tradition, excellence has to be the standard, and we must strive toward a shared humanistic goal.”
After receiving his award, along with two standing ovations from the audience, Monan thanked Boston College and the many students who he has worked with, stating, “No awards are as pleasing to me as those that are accompanied by the applause of students.”

In 2002, Monan was appointed chair of the Visiting Committee on Management in the Courts by Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice Margaret H. Marshal. He is former chairman of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Mentoring Partnership, the Massachusetts Mentoring Partnership, and the Yawkey Foundation.

—Matthew Karr ‘08, BC Law Magazine correspondent