FORMER SPC PRESIDENT DANIEL A. DEGNAN, S.J. DIES AT AGE 80
Monday, March 19, 2007
Rev. Daniel A. Degnan, S.J., the former President of Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City, N.J., died on Friday, March 16 at Mountainside Hospital. He was 80 years old. Father Degnan served as the 20th President of New Jersey’s Jesuit College from 1990-1995.
“Dan was an extremely intelligent, dynamic and decisive person,” said Rev. Raymond Schroth, S.J., an English professor at Saint Peter’s College and friend of Fr. Degnan since the two entered the Society of Jesus nearly 50 years ago. “Dan always had a vision,” said Fr. Schroth, who will deliver the homily at the funeral Mass. “He led the transformation of Saint Peter’s College from an all-commuter college to a more residential campus with the construction of residence facilities and was a very visible presence to students, faculty and staff.”
Born in West Orange, N.J. on July 17, Fr. Degnan graduated from Seton Hall Prep. He served in the United States Navy from 1944-1946. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude, in history and government from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University. He practiced law for five years before entering the Society of Jesus in 1958. He studied at Loyola Seminary in Shrub Oak, NY and earned a Ph. L. in 1962 and a S.T.L. from Woodstock College in Maryland in 1967. Father Degnan was ordained to the priesthood in 1966.
During his nearly 50 years of service in the Society of Jesus, Father Degnan held several teaching and administrative assignments at a number of institutions. His teaching career included positions at Harvard Law School from 1969-1970, Syracuse Law School from 1970-1975 and Georgetown University Law Center. Father Degnan received his LL. M. from Harvard Law School in 1974.
His administrative career included service as the academic vice president of Loyola College in Maryland. Prior to coming to Saint Peter’s College, Father Degnan taught law at Seton Hall University and served as the dean of the law school and as associate provost for five years.
Father Degnan sat on the boards of a number of schools, including Fairfield University and the University of Detroit, in addition to serving on governmental commissions such as the Liberty State Park Development Corporation and the New Jersey Supreme Court Advisory Commission on Judicial Conduct.
Father Degnan is survived by seven siblings: Eileen Callaghan, Patricia Regan, Dorothy Degnan Hunt, Bernard J. Degnan, Peter J. Degnan, Mary Degnan Flynn and Anne Kunzman, in addition to 40 nieces and nephews and 96 grandnieces and grandnephews. A wake will be held at Saint Aedan’s Church in Jersey City on Wednesday, March 21 from 2-6 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. McLaughlin Funeral Home in Jersey City (625 Pavonia Avenue/ 201-798-8700) is handling the arrangements. Internment will follow at a later date at the Jesuit cemetery in Auriesville, N.Y.