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We remember Father William Reilly, S.J.

It is with great sadness that I report to you the passing of former Le Moyne President William L. Reilly, S.J., who died Thursday, December 10 at Murray-Weigel Hall at Fordham University. He was 94 years of age.

Fr. Reilly was the longest-serving president in Le Moyne's history, serving from 1964 to 1976. He was a respected and imaginative leader, initiating plans and programs that shape Le Moyne to this day. He also spearheaded the construction of Foery and Harrison halls, the academic building that would later be named for him, and the expansion of the campus grounds. 

Fr. Reilly entered the novitiate in 1932 and was ordained in 1945. He attended Woodstock College in Maryland, where he received a B.A. in Philosophy, and also studied Theology at Weston College in Weston, Mass., and received a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Fordham University.


Fr. Reilly taught at Fordham University and Canisius College before becoming president of Le Moyne College in 1964. After leaving Le Moyne, Fr. Reilly served in several important capacities, including associate vice president for academic affairs at Fordham University; teacher and retreat and pastoral minister in Benin City, Nigeria; and retreat minister in Cape Coast, Ghana. He took up residence at Fordham University in 1999.


The visitation and funeral will take place at Fordham University, and there will also be a Memorial Mass for Fr. Reilly on the Le Moyne campus in January 2010, with additional arrangements to be announced.
Please join me in offering humble prayers in gratitude for Fr. Reilly's long life of service and gracious wisdom, and for his loving example in so many lives. As a College, we are honored by our long association with Fr. Reilly. We pray for the repose of his soul.

Sincerely, Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., President