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McGarry, William James, 1894-1941



  • Existence: 1894 - 1941

Biographical Note

William James McGarry, Jesuit, professor and Boston College president.

McGarry was the eighteenth president of Boston College, leading the College from 1937 to 1939. Born in Hamilton, Massachusetts, in 1894, he began his association with Boston College as a pupil of Boston College High School. Upon graduation in 1911, he entered the Society of Jesus, and later earned his degree as a Doctor of Sacred Theology from Woodstock College. After being ordained in 1925, McGarry attended the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome from 1928 to 1930 to earn his degree as Licentiate in Sacred Scriptures with Honors. Prior to his appointment as Boston College president, McGarry was the assistant editor of Thought starting in 1934 and taught at Boston College's Graduate School. He was also dean at Weston College and taught there from 1930 to 1937. During his two years as presidenct, McGarry founded the College of Business Administration. Under McGarry's administration, the Boston College community celebrated the seventy-fifth anniversary of its foundation with a week of symposiums, debates, plays, and a Papal Benediction from Rome. McGarry inherited the sponsorship of an archaeological expedition in the Middle East from his predecessor, president Louis Gallagher. McGarry's tenure as president of Boston College ended in the summer of 1939 as his editorial experience was needed for the governance of a new journal, Theological Studies. McGarry died suddenly in 1941.

Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Identifier

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

William James McGarry, SJ, President's Office records


The William James McGarry, SJ, President’s Office Records contain correspondence, photographs, financial statements, student applications, and booklets documenting the work of William McGarry, SJ, eighteenth president of Boston College from 1937 to 1939.

Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Dates: 1922 - 1944; Majority of material found within 1937 - 1939