Twenty-fifth Saint Mary's College President Dies at 86
Brother Michael Quinn, FSC, the 25th president of Saint Mary's College of California and professor of psychology, passed away on Sunday, March 15. A 1947 Saint Mary's graduate, he was 86 years old.
Brother Michael was president of the College from 1962â€“69, taking office after the sudden death of his predecessor, Brother Albert Plotz, FSC, in a car accident. Brother Michael lead the College during its centennial celebration, oversaw the completion of most of the campus plan drawn up by his predecessor, including the construction of Saint Albert Library. He was also Dean of the School of Science, Chair of the graduate and undergraduate psychology departments, and was the Auxiliary Visitor of the San Francisco District. Brother Michael retired to the Holy Family Community at Mont La Salle in 1997.
"Brother Michael was a bold leader called for in a time of significant leadership challenges, during troubling times in society and on campuses across the country," says John Parziale '62, dean of students during Brother Michael's presidency. "He was caring, supportive, and helpful to staff, faculty, and students while maintaining a keen sense of humor. In short, respected and beloved."
Brother Michael Quinn was born in Oakland, Calif., and attended high school in Long Beach before entering the Novitiate in 1942. Brother Michael came to the Brothers in what, for that time, was an unusual path; he entered Saint Mary's as a lay student and decided to join the order two years later. Brother Michael taught at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles, and was a teacher and Director of the Brothers' Juniorate at Mont La Salle before serving at Saint Mary's. In 1963, he received his Ph.D. in psychology from Loyola University in Chicago.
Current Saint Mary's President, Brother Ronald Gallagher, observed that "Brother Michael's contributions to the growth and development of Saint Mary's College have been significant and long lasting." Former Provost and long time Professor of Psychology Sally Stampp was hired by Brother Michael. She commented "I always felt extraordinary support from Brother Michael. He endorsed the College's decision to become co-ed and was a vigorous supporter of the hiring of many female faculty members at Saint Mary's."
Funeral services for Brother Michael will be held in the Saint Mary's College chapel on Thursday, March 19 at 7 p.m., with a reception following in the Soda Center. A viewing will also be held from 4-6:45 p.m. on Thursday. Burial services will be held on Friday, March 20 at 10:30 a.m. at Mont La Salle in Napa, with a luncheon following.
Born of Thomas Quinn and Helen Buckley, Brother Michael is survived by his brother Myles and wife Phyllis and nephew John and his wife Benita.
An endowed scholarship named in honor of Brother Michael provides scholarship funds to future Saint Mary's students and honors his contributions to the College. To contribute to the Brother Michael Quinn Scholarship Fund, please send donations to Saint Mary's College Development Office, P.O. Box 4300, Moraga, CA 94575, attention Bill McLeod. Bill can also be reached at (925) 631-4787.