What’s in a Name? O’Boyle Hall
Victor David, Class of 2014
March 28, 2012
Filed under Quill
O’Boyle Hall – the bane of every student’s existence. Oh how I DON’T miss the days of trekking up that hill everyday for class! Oh well, after over one hundred years, I guess we should cut it a bit of slack. Built around 1900, the structure was home to Holy Cross College, run by the Congregation of the Holy Cross (Notre Dame, anyone?). Eventually, Catholic purchased it around the year 1970. In 1973, its name was formally changed to O’Boyle Hall, in honor of the University’s third Chancellor, Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle, Archbishop of Washington.
Cardinal O’Boyle was born in Scranton in 1896 to Irish immigrants. When his father died, the young archbishop-to-be helped out his mother by becoming a paperboy. Though he dropped out of school, he eventually entered St. Thomas College in Scranton in 1911. He graduated valedictorian and entered St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers in 1916.
O’Boyle was ordained a priest in 1921. He served the New York Archdiocese for many years until Pope Pius XII appointed him Archbishop of Washington in 1947. He was ordained a bishop by New York’s Cardinal Spellman (yup, Spellman Hall) in January of the following year. In his time as archbishop, O’Boyle attended the many sessions of Vatican II from 1962 to 1965. Pope Paul VI elevated him to the rank of Cardinal in 1967 at the same Consistory that saw a young Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II) become a Cardinal as well.
Cardinal O’Boyle is lauded mostly for his staunch stance against racism. As the Archbishop of Washington, he decreed all diocesan schools desegregated several years before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation unconstitutional.