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Chestnut Hill College Reports Passing of Former President, Sister Mary Xavier Kirby

Chestnut Hill College Reports Passing of Former President, Sister Mary Xavier Kirby

Sister Mary Xavier Kirby

Former president of Chestnut Hill College, Sister Mary Xavier Kirby, passed away on January 26. President of Chestnut Hill College, Sister Carol Jean Vale, Ph.D, announced her passing with the following:

Dear Members of the College Community,

It is with sadness that I notify you of the death of Sister Mary Xavier Kirby, SSJ, Ph.D., the fourth president of Chestnut Hill College (1968-1980), on January 26.  Sister Mary Xavier was a well-regarded faculty member in the English Department prior to assuming the presidency in 1968.  Known for her keen wit, she enjoyed great popularity with many people.  During her tenure she introduced a major in elementary education, a program of continuing education, founded the Montessori program, added music education and American studies, founded the ACT 101 program at Chestnut Hill College, opened Saturday classes to lay people, established a cooperative program for nurses at Chestnut Hill Hospital, an exchange program with LaSalle College, and, among other accomplishments, launched a study of the curriculum.

Given that she served in the late sixties and early seventies, her administration was a time of great unrest and demonstrations by students as they yearned for change and modernization.  It was a revolutionary time, not only in higher education, as Sister noted, but also throughout the world.  She was a delightful person, charming and well-met.  I know she will be missed.

Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D.

Sister Mary Xavier Kirby’s funeral arrangements are as follows:

Tuesday, February 2, Saint Joseph Villa
Viewing:     1:30 p.m.
Funeral:     3:00 p.m.

Anyone who would like to attend is welcome.

Posted In: Academic News