Courier Spring 2018

A Memorial Mass will be held for the ninth president of Saint Mary's College, William A. Hickey on Friday, June 22, at the Church of Loretto.  Visitation will be from 12 - 1 p.m. in the church for those who want to greet Barbara Hickey and her family.  Mass will follow at 1 p.m.  A private burial will take place at Highland Cemetery after the Mass, for family members only.  As the family leaves for the cemetery, the Provost’s Office will host a reception in the Lillie O’Grady Center for those attending the Mass.

William A. Hickey, president of Saint Mary’s College from 1986 to 1997, died on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at the age of 81.

William A Hickey, ninth president“Saint Mary’s wouldn’t be the strong institution it is today without the leadership of Dr. Hickey,” President Jan Cervelli said. “He helped strengthen ties with the Sisters of the Holy Cross, reaffirming the College’s founding mission, and extended it to new generations of students through increases in financial aid and a commitment to ensuring the highest academic standards.”

A native of Pennsylvania, Hickey received a master’s degree and PhD from the University of Notre Dame. As a biology professor and nationally recognized insect geneticist, Hickey spent nearly 40 years at Saint Mary’s. He also served as academic vice president and dean of faculty before becoming president.

Hickey led major changes to the governance of the College, placing all decision making within a single Board of Trustees. Under his leadership, the College endowed scholarships for an increasingly diverse student body, expanded opportunities for international study, and provided opportunities for faculty to travel and conduct research.

Friend and long-time colleague Professor of Chemistry Dorothy Feigl believes that Hickey most treasured the student-teacher connection and considered it the heart and soul of the College. “Long after students are gone they’ll often look back and cherish the relationships they had with their professors. Hickey knew that and always valued the faculty regardless of the role he held.”

Hickey is survived by his wife, Barbara, and children William Jr., Timothy, Sandra (SMC ’89), and Kristina. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Susan.