Thomas P. O'Malley, S.J.

Message from the President 

Nov. 4, 2009

Dear LMU Community:

It is with great sadness that I report the death of former LMU President Thomas P. O’Malley, S.J., who passed away early this morning, Nov. 4, 2009, in Boston. He was 79.

Father O’Malley served as the 13th president of Loyola Marymount University, from 1991 to 1999. During those years he led the university deftly as the campus expanded and our reputation grew. He spearheaded a fundraising campaign that greatly enhanced the university, oversaw the construction of the Hilton Center for Business and residence halls, and renewed the university-wide commitment to strengthening academics.

Father O’Malley was a classicist, theologian, academician and administrator. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1952, studied theology in Louvain, Belgium, and was ordained in Brussels in 1961. Father O’Malley earned his doctorate in 1967 at the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands. His career was devoted to Jesuit education and he was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston College from 1973 to 1980, then president of John Carroll University in Ohio from 1980 to 1988 before coming to LMU in 1991. He had returned to Boston College and was most recently a professor in their honors program.

For all his accomplishments, Father O’Malley’s signature was his robust humor that gave those who worked with him a sense of ease. Among the responsibilities and tokens he passed along to me was a Buick Riviera convertible with the license plate “Lion 14.” He delighted driving around in that car when it was “Lion 13.”

He is survived by his sister, Mary, his brothers Austin and John, and the many Jesuit brothers who will miss him.  Father O’Malley’s funeral will be Tuesday, Nov. 10, at St. Ignatius Church in Chestnut Hill, Mass. with burial in Campion Center Cemetery in Weston, Mass.

We are a better university because of the work of this good man.



Robert B. Lawton, S.J.