DePaul Library staff wish the Rev. John T. Richardson, C.M. the best as he moves to his new home in Perryville, Missouri. Lincoln Park’s John T. Richardson Library, named in his honor in 1993 by the library’s benefactors Richard and Claire Heise, is perhaps the most physical reminder of Fr. Richardson’s legacy, but Fr. Richardson’s influence can still be seen and felt in many areas throughout the university.
Fr. Richardson first arrived at DePaul in 1954 as Dean of the Graduate School, where he helped found three liberal arts and sciences PhD programs. Over the next twenty-seven years, he went on to serve as Dean of Faculties and Executive Vice President. He was inaugurated as the ninth president of DePaul University on October 31, 1981.
Over the course of Fr. Richardson’s twelve-year presidency, DePaul experienced a period of rapid expansion. New programs introduced included the foundation of the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, as well as the founding of the International Human Rights Law Institute, the Institute for Business Ethics, and the Center for Urban Education. He also physically expanded DePaul’s Loop campus with the purchase of the former Goldblatt building, which was rededicated as the DePaul Center in 1993.
Though Fr. Richardson stepped down as president in 1993, he has not been idle. While serving as chancellor, he continued to be actively engaged with DePaul by serving on the Board of Trustees and assisting with campaigns to fund new science and library facilities. Even while serving in Kenya from 1997 to 2010, he kept DePaul in his thoughts, writing regular missives back to the DePaul community.
While we will miss seeing him around campus, the sheer multitude of positive changes that he was fundamental in planning and implementing ensure that his presence and spirit are felt throughout the university. Fr. Richardson was instrumental in making DePaul University the place it is today.