Detailed Pedia

W. G. Read Mullan

W. G. Read Mullan, SJ
W. G. Read Mullan.png
11th President of Loyola College in Maryland
In office
Preceded byJohn Quirk, SJ
Succeeded byFrancis X. Brady, SJ
11th President of Boston College
In office
June 30, 1898 – 1903
Preceded byTimothy Brosnahan, SJ
Succeeded byThomas F. Gannon, SJ
Personal details
BornJanuary 28, 1860
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
DiedJanuary 25, 1910(1910-01-25) (aged 49)
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Resting placeJesuit Cemetery, Woodstock, Maryland, United States
ParentsJohn P. Mullan
Emily Susannah Adam
Alma materLoyola University Maryland
Woodstock College
Ordination history of
W. G. Read Mullan
Priestly ordination
Ordained byJames Gibbons
PlaceWoodstock, Maryland

William G. Read Mullan, SJ (January 28, 1860 – January 25, 1910), was an American Jesuit and academic who served as President of Boston College from 1898 to 1903 and President of Loyola University Maryland from 1907 to 1908.

Early life and education

William G. Read Mullan was born on January 28, 1860 in Baltimore, Maryland, United States to John P. and Emily Susannah Mullan (née Adam).[1][2][3] His father was a sexton at the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, as was his father before him.[1] He was named after an orator and family friend William G. Read Jr.[1] A great-great aunt on his father's side, Catharine Mullan, was one of the first to join Elizabeth Ann Seton and the Sisters of Charity.[1][4]

As a child, Mullan completed his primary education at the parochial school at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Baltimore.[3] He began attending Loyola College in Maryland in 1874, graduating in 1877.[1][2][3] Shortly before graduating, he applied for admission to the Society of Jesus.[5] In 1877, he was admitted as a postulant and commenced studies at the Jesuit novitiate in Frederick, Maryland, where he remained until 1880.[1][3] From 1880 to 1883, he studied rhetoric, philosophy, and science at Woodstock College, a Jesuit seminary in Woodstock, Maryland.[1][3] In 1888, after five years teaching at Fordham University and Georgetown University, Mullan returned to Woodstock College where he was educated in theology.[1][3]

In 1890 (one source dates it to 1892[3]), he was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal James Gibbons, the Archbishop of Baltimore.[1]


After novitiate, Mullan taught classics and literature at St. John's College (now Fordham University) for four years, before becoming a professor of poetry at Georgetown University for one year.[1][3][5] After returning to Woodstock College for his theological education, he returned to Fordham as Prefect of Studies, where he remained until 1897.[1][3] Later, he returned to Woodstock College as Superior of Scholastics, before becoming a professor at the College of the Holy Cross.[1][3]

In 1898, Mullan was appointed President of Boston College.[1][2][6][7] He arrived on June 30, 1898, and received the books from his predecessor, Timothy Brosnahan.[3] As president, he worked to ensure rigorous academic standards and took interest in the personal development of his students.[1] He also served concurrently as rector of the Church of the Immaculate Conception.[3][6][7]

In addition to his administrative duties, Mullan vigorously fought against anti-Catholicism in American academia.[1] Most notably, he became involved in the controversy of President of Harvard University Charles W. Elliot's criticism of Boston College and Catholic education in general.[1][2] Mullan protested Harvard Law School's removal of Boston College from its list of acceptable institutions for admission as a regular student, as well as Elliot's comments disparaging Jesuit universities.[1][2] He combated this through private and public correspondence and through public speeches.[1][2]

As president, Mullan also established the Sodality of Catholic College Alumni in 1900.[8] He founded the organization after sending a letter on May 13, 1899, to all Boston College alumni, which read:

"I should be much pleased to meet the lay alumni of Boston College ... for the purpose of proposing to them the formation of a Sodality to be composed exclusively of Catholic graduates of Boston College and other colleges. I am fully convinced that such a gathering of educated Catholic men could be a power in the community to attract respect for our holy religion and for Catholic Education."[8]

Mullan served as President of Boston College until 1903.[1] After leaving Boston College, he served as a prefect at Fordham.[1] He also became the vice president and prefect of studies at the Graduate School of Georgetown University.[5][9] In 1907, Mullan became President of Loyola College in Maryland, but resigned because of ill health six months into his term.[1][10] He was admitted to St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, where he remained until his death.[1]

Death and legacy

Mullan died at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore on January 25, 1910.[1] He was buried at Woodstock Jesuit Cemetery in Woodstock, Maryland.[1] After his death, a scholarship was created in his memory at Loyola College in Maryland.[11] The $1,000 Read Mullan Scholarship was funded through collections by the Sodality of St. Ignatius Church in Baltimore, under the direction of Rev. John D. Whitney, SJ.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "W.G. Read Mullan, SJ, President's Office Records" (PDF). Boston College Library. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Mahoney, Kathleen A. (2003). Catholic Higher Education in Protestant America: The Jesuits and Harvard in the Age of the University. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801873401.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hopkins, William (January–June 1899). "People in Print". Donahoe's Magazine. Boston, Massachusetts: Donahoe's Magazine Company. 41: 485–487.
  4. ^ "St. Elizabeth Ann Seton". Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  5. ^ a b c Easby-Smith, James Stanislaus (1907). Georgetown University in the District of Columbia, 1789-1907. New York City: Lewis Publishing Company. pp. 150, 245.
  6. ^ a b "Boston Post from Boston, Massachusetts on September 11, 1901 · Page 7". Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  7. ^ a b The Holy Cross Purple. College of the Holy Cross. 1900-01-01.
  8. ^ a b Tracy, Donis (January 9, 2004). "Catholic Alumni Sodality votes to dissolve". The Boston Pilot. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  9. ^ A Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Georgetown University. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. 1904.
  10. ^ "Past Presidents - Office of the President - Loyola University Maryland". Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  11. ^ a b Catalogue of Loyola College, Baltimore, 1910-1911. Baltimore, Maryland: John Murphy Company. 1911. p. 81.

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