Terrance L. Mahan, S.J.

Message from the President
Dec. 10, 2020

Dear LMU Community:

I am saddened to share that the Rev. Terrance L. Mahan, S.J., emeritus professor of history, passed away on Dec. 8, 2020, at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California. He was 96 years old.

For more than 30 years, Father Mahan was a member of the LMU community. He arrived at Loyola University in 1960 to join the History Department, having earned his doctorate that same year. Father Mahan was tapped by President Charles Casassa, S.J., a year later to be dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, where he served until 1968. As a top administrator and confidant to Father Casassa, he was involved in the affiliation and subsequent merger of Loyola and Marymount College. The gallery in the Archives and Special Collections of the William H. Hannon Library is named in Father Mahan’s honor. For so many alumni, faculty, Jesuits, Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, and friends of the university, Father Mahan was the institutional memory and heart of LMU. 

Following his tenure as dean, Father Mahan went back to the classroom, also serving a term as rector of the Jesuit Community. He was provincial of the Jesuits’ then-California Province from 1976-82, a role in which he had the opportunity to grow in friendship with the beloved superior general, Father Pedro Arrupe.  

After serving as provincial, Father Mahan returned to LMU as a part-time professor of history and minister of the Jesuit Community. He moved to Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in 2012.

A lifelong Angeleno, Father Mahan joined the Society of Jesus in 1941 and was ordained in 1954. He earned his Ph.D. at Wisconsin in 1960, his M.A. in history at the University of San Francisco, and his M.Div. at Alma College in California.

Please keep Terry, his family and his many friends in your prayers. 


Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.