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William Flynn Honored

Scholarship Fund Renamed For Late A.D.

William J. Flynn

From the Boston College Chronicle

March 26, 1998 Vol. 6, No. 14

The Athletic Association will honor the memory of long-time Athletic Director William J. Flynn by naming its student scholarship fund for him.

The William J. Flynn Fund for Student Scholarships will replace the Blue Chips as the central way in which individuals can support Boston College athletics. Flynn, who died last June at 82, was associated with Boston College as a student-athlete, faculty member, coach and athletic director for nearly seven decades, including a 34-year tenure as athletic director from 1957-1991.

"This is a fitting way to honor a man who was a giant in his field," said Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo. "Bill's name will now be associated with a fund that raises money for scholarships for student-athletes, and that is what he was about."

Since 1969, Blue Chips donations have been a key funding source for Boston College athletics, providing student-athletes and coaches with the resources to compete at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics, said Christopher Cameron, associate athletic director for media relations.

In a letter to supporters, DeFilippo noted that Flynn "stood nationally as a symbol of integrity in intercollegiate sports."

He added, "Like many of you, I had the privilege of knowing Bill Flynn as a friend; I enjoyed the added privilege of working with him as a colleague in this business. I was awed by his reputation as one of the founding fathers of modern intercollegiate athletics. He was a man of achievement, high principles and loyalty to this university. I am proud to be sitting in the chair that Mr. Flynn once occupied, and proud that Boston College athletics' central fund-raising program will carry his name into the future. It will be a perpetual reminder to donors and our student-athletes of who we are and what we stand for."

A three-sport athlete in the Class of 1939, Flynn earned nine varsity letters and became the first BC hockey player to score 20 goals in a season. He joined the faculty as a mathematics teacher and assistant football coach in 1945 and became the Alumni Association executive secretary seven years later.

Upon becoming AD in 1957, he immediately set about the work of raising funds for the construction of Alumni Stadium. He also oversaw the construction of the old Roberts Center and McHugh Forum, and of Conte Forum, which replaced both those facilities.

He established the Office of Learning Resources for Student Athletes, one reason why Boston College consistently has one of the highest student-athlete graduation rates in the nation.

Flynn's achievements earned him prominence far beyond Chestnut Hill. In 1979, he became only the second athletic director to be voted president of the NCAA, where he served on the executive council and television committee.

"Bill would be so honored that his name will live on at Boston College through the Flynn Fund, because he was always so interested in the welfare of the student-athletes," said Marie Flynn, widow of the former athletic director. "Our whole family is so honored."

-Michael Seele