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Boston College. Office of the President



  • Existence: established 1863

Administrative history

The Office of the President was established at the founding of Boston College in 1863.

The first president and rector of Boston College, John Bapst, S.J., served from 1863 until 1869. During the college's inception, the term "vice-rector" was used instead of rector because the College was still in the process of formation. The early presidents performed administrative as well as religious duties, and often taught as well. President Fulton was the only president to hold the office twice non-consecutively.

During the University's early years and according to Jesuit custom the term was three years in duration and renewable for an additional three years at the discretion of the General of the Order of Rome. By the 1950s, the term had been extended to six years, and some presidents were allowed to remain longer. An extension of the president's administration was made possible through a policy decision made in Rome that a superior of the Jesuit Community should be appointed to ease the burden of the rector. At this time, Rome was no longer involved in the selection of the president; instead, the president was chosen by the Superior General of the Society of Jesus in consultation with the New England provincial and his consultors. Seavey Joyce, SJ was the last president to be named by the administration of the Society of Jesus. Since then, the president has been elected by a majority vote of the Board of Trustees.

The position of Academic Vice President was created in 1958. The position relieved the President of some academic responsibilities. In 1959, President Michael P. Walsh, SJ established the Board of Regents which served as an advisory board and with the addition of ten Jesuit members later evolved into the Board of Directors in 1968. Since January 1, 1971, the President no longer serves as Rector of the Jesuit Community. This change was recommended by the trustees to strengthen the office.

Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Identifier

Found in 26 Collections and/or Records:

Boston College scrapbooks collection


Consists of scrapbooks pertaining to the history of Boston College, particularly athletics.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Dates: 1928-1946, 1975-1977