As president of Fordham from 1984 to 2003, Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., made a defining impact on every aspect of the University, ushering in both academic renewal and physical expansion that lifted the University’s standing in New York City and nationally. He was a respected civic leader and renowned intellectual but also a humble priest, beloved for his surpassing good will and grace, who perfectly embodied the Jesuit ethos of service to the human family.
A memorial Mass for Father O’Hare will be celebrated in the University Church when public health considerations permit.
Tributes to Father O’Hare
“He placed all of his considerable intellect, integrity, and vision in service of the University, and in doing so transformed Fordham into a powerhouse of Jesuit education. We will miss his wisdom, steady counsel, and warm wit.”
—Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University
“Father O’Hare is one of my heroes. Brilliant, witty, kind, gentle but firm, he lived his life caring and giving to so many.”
—U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who worked with Father O’Hare as one of the New York City Campaign Finance Board’s founding appointees
“He helped mentor many Fordham colleagues into their own presidencies, including me. He said something to me once that guides me still: ‘You choose to see the limits or the possibility in Catholic higher education. What you choose determines how you lead.’”
—Fordham Trustee Donna Carroll, Ph.D., University secretary under Father O’Hare and current president of Dominican University in Chicago
Share Your Own Tribute to Father O’Hare
The full measure of Father O’Hare’s life and legacy can be seen in the outpouring of personal tributes that followed his passing on March 29. Please feel free to post your own tribute in the comments section below.