Fond Farewell to Fr. Richardson

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.

Fall colors surround the Richardson Library on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus. (Photo by Jamie Moncrief)

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.

Fr. Richardson in front of chapel for theological students in Nyeri, Kenya, 1997.

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.

2 Replies to “Fond Farewell to Fr. Richardson”

  1. Father Richardson, I am sorry to hear that you are leaving the campus but I hope that Perryville will give you a chance to rest. You certainly have earned it. I want to thank you from the deepest level of my soul for the inspiration that you gave me from the moment that I first cam to DePaul over 40 years ago. You are a model of integrity and of a commitment to reason grounded in faith. I will never forget the interview that I did with you for the DePaul Centennial book. Your Thomistic vision led you to an extraordinary openness to new ideas and ways of thinking philosophically. As I near, retirement, I am inspired by your years in Kenya; it wasn’t retirement but a new way of responding to your calling. Thank you for these many years together. Charles Strain

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