Saturday, June 16, 2001

Former president of XU 'did wonders'

By Ben L. Kaufman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        His shiny pate and bright smile were unmistakable trademarks during his tenure as president of Xavier University.

        Thursday, the Rev. Robert W. Mulligan, S.J., 84, died of heart failure at Loyola Medical Center in suburban Chicago. It was his 52nd anniversary as a Roman Catholic priest.

        Father Mulligan came to XU in 1971 as provost and became president the next year.

Fr. Mulligan
Fr. Mulligan
        “He was a real academician and he really identified with the faculty,” Roger Fortin, historian and acting academic vice president, said Friday. “He did wonders.”

        XU in the 1970s too often perceived itself as a parochial backwater in the firmament of Jesuit universities, Dr. Fortin said. “I think we didn't know how very good we were.

        “But when the new guy from the Jesuits' Loyola University in Chicago said, "You're much better than you think you are,' he raised faculty self-esteem.”

        A Chicago native, Father Mulligan entered the Society of Jesus when its novice program was based in Milford.

        After ordination, he earned his Ph.D. at Louvain University in Belgium and took postdoctoral studies at the University of Paris.

        Home again at Loyola, he was professor of philosophy, department chairman, vice president and dean of faculties.

        Then he came to Cincinnati.

        Father Mulligan moved to St. Louis University in 1982 as executive assistant to the president and corporate secretary.

        The University of Cincinnati awarded Father Mulligan an honorary doctorate and the president of France honored him with the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor for strengthening U.S.-French cultural ties.

        Survivors include a sister, Marion O'Rourke of Winnetka, Ill.

        Mass of Christian Burial will be 7:30 p.m. Monday at Madonna della Strada Chapel, Loyola University.

        Memorials: Jesuit International Missions or Jesuit Partnership, 2245 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati 45206.


Speedway spectacle should set record
N.Ky. leaders pitch $43M arena for NKU
- Former president of XU 'did wonders'
Judge frowns on local jail fee
Schools ready for new U.S. law
Aquarium is reeling in visitors
Dirtiest job lies ahead at Fernald
Nuclear talent getting scarcer
6 minutes a day to better police
Local Jews going to Israel while others cancel trips
Officers break up a cocaine drug ring
Booth says cultural audits can wait
Center fights to keep funding
Court to decide funding fate
Gathering offers blast from the past
In Lakota, students putting the squeeze on the district
Kentucky News Briefs
Lawmakers told of area's boom
Ministry says creek will be clean
Post-riot legal bills for city hit $270,000
Presbyterians may end gay ban
Sidewalk tax gets nixed
Taft: Keep tuition hike low
Taft urges healthy lifestyles
Weed is nettlesome in Ky.
Enquirer reporter receives top honor
Tristate A.M. Report