Fordham, a History of the Jesuit University of New York: 1841-2003

By Thomas J. Shelley | Go to book overview

12
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

The Woolworth Building

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences had a modest and informal beginning in the fall of 1916 under the name of the Graduate School on the twenty-eighth floor of the Woolworth Building with four graduate courses and eight students. The original faculty consisted of three Jesuits —Fathers Michael J. Mahony, J.F.X. Murphy, and Terence J. Shealy—and one layman, Condé B. Pallen. The Graduate School was formally inaugurated the following November when the curriculum was expanded to twenty-nine courses and three seminars that included scholastic philosophy, literature, history, economics, jurisprudence, Latin, Greek, Spanish, and Italian, although it is impossible to verify how many of the courses were actually taught.

The faculty was also increased from four to sixteen, all but three of whom were Jesuits. They were self-described as “some of the most eminent members of the Society of Jesus.” Several of them, like Fathers Husslein and Fortier, also taught in other units of the university (and Fortier did double duty as dean) while three other Jesuits were on the staff of America, including the editor, Father Richard H. Tierney. Two of the laymen, Thomas F. Reilly and the ubiquitous James J. Walsh, were medical doctors who taught sociology. As the number of students and courses proliferated, the Jesuits increasingly employed public school teachers and administrators as adjunct faculty, a development that did little to improve the academic reputation of the Graduate School. The number of advertised courses sometimes outstripped the pool of potential students. As early as 1917 the university warned that courses would be canceled without a sufficient enrollment. Father Hogan later set the minimum number of students at ten.1

1. FUA, Gannon Papers, Gannon to James J. Walsh, November 24, 1936. The Jesuits
were Fathers William Clark, John J. Wynne, Owen A. Hill, Edmund J. Burke, John C.
Reville, Michael J. Mahoney, Joseph Husslein, Richard H. Tierney, Matthew L. Fortier,
J.F.X. Murphy, John J. O’Connor, John H. Fisher, and Paul V. O’Rourke.

-259-

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