A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, March 15, at St. Agatha Church in Milton, Mass., for John T. Driscoll ’49, who served as Boston College’s first, and only, vice president for administration from 1988 to 1997, a period which saw several major campus construction projects come to fruition. Mr. Driscoll died on March 11 at the age of 93.
Visiting hours will be Thursday, March 14, from 4-8 p.m. at Dolan Funeral Home, 460 Granite Avenue, East Milton Square. The funeral will begin at 10:30 a.m.; St. Agatha Church is located at 432 Adams Street in Milton.
Mr. Driscoll had led a distinguished 35-year career in public service when he accepted the newly created vice presidential position: state representative, state treasurer, and chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, a post he held for 24 years. The University, with an expanding financial structure and an accompanying need for major services to support its academic mission, saw Mr. Driscoll as the ideal person to direct construction management, campus security, dining services, and other functions.
“John Driscoll brings the perfect combination of managerial expertise, personal qualities, and experience,” said then-University President J. Donald Monan, S.J., announcing the appointment.
During Mr. Driscoll’s term, the Merkert Chemistry Center, the Law School library, and the Corcoran Commons dining hall on Lower Campus were completed, along with the Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street parking garages. In addition, Mr. Driscoll oversaw renovation projects to Campion, Fulton, and Devlin halls, the BC Bookstore, and a significant expansion to Alumni Stadium.
Elsewhere, Mr. Driscoll undertook a reorganization of such departments as Buildings and Grounds, the BC Police Department, Dining Services, and the Bookstore, and completed an extensive study of the University’s mail service, which resulted in several improvements.
Mr. Driscoll had always remained close to his alma mater. Four of his sons earned their degrees at the Heights, and he was president of the BC Alumni Association for a year. But several months as VP for administration had transformed his view of BC, as he told the Boston College BiWeekly in October of 1988: “I’m seeing the University now in a totally different way than I’ve seen it in the past. I’m seeing it as an administrator, and I have a greater realization of the complexities of running a university than I ever would have realized from the outside.”
When he decided in 1997 to take a new position as special consultant to University President William P. Leahy, S.J.—a reorganization of BC’s senior management shifted Mr. Driscoll’s former areas of responsibility to other vice presidential divisions—Mr. Driscoll had accumulated many such impressions, and developed a great respect for other administrators and staff with whom he had worked.
“One thing which has always distinguished Boston College is the excellence in its appointments, and the strong leadership the people in those positions demonstrate,” he said in an interview with Chronicle. “It was really a case of picking up and contributing what I could, rather than changing anything dramatically.”
Mr. Driscoll was predeceased by his wife, Jean M. (Francis) Driscoll. He is survived by his children, John Jr., William, James, Jean, Paul, Maureen, and Robert; 21 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was the brother of the late Nicholas J. Driscoll, Mary A. Cook, William P. Driscoll, and Helen C. Zona.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Jean M. Driscoll Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Boston College, Office of University Advancement, Cadigan Alumni Center, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467.