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Edward James McCarthy, O.S.A., records


Held at: Villanova University Archives [Contact Us]Falvey Library, 800 E Lancaster Ave, Villanova, PA

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Villanova University Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Father Edward James McCarthy was born in Troy, New York, to Edward McCarthy and Katherine Grimley on 1 April 1912. He received his early education in the public schools of Troy and Mechanicville. He entered Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, as a postulant in 1925 and was received into the Augustinian novitiate in September 1929. He professed simply vows on 11 September 1930 and three years later, solemn vows. He was graduated from Villanova College in 1934 and three years later, solemn vows. He was graduated from Villanova College in 1934 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. He pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C.; and was ordained a priest there on 15 June 1937. After ordination he earned an M.A. (1938) and a doctorate in history from the Catholic University of America.

Father McCarthy's first assignment after ordination was to the then Villanova College as a professor of history. In June 1946 he went to the Universidad de S. Tomas de Villanueva, Havana, Cuba, as Dean and professor of history. In the school year 1947/48 he traveled extensively through South America to become acquainted with its various cultures. In 1947 he returned to his teaching position at Villanova College and was named first Dean of Arts and Sciences (1948-1950) and then Dean of the Graduate and Extension Schools (1950-1953). In 1953 he returned to the Universidad de Villanueva as Academic Vice-President (1953-1957), later becoming prior of the religious community (1958-1961). When the Augustinians were being expelled from Cuba in 1961, Father McCarthy and the other Augustinians, lined up in the school auditorium, thought they were going to be shot but were told instead to leave Cuba immediately. This they did with just their personal belongings. Thus ended the era of the Universidad de Villanueva in Cuba.

In 1961 the Archdiocese of Miami, then looking for a religious order to staff a college, appealed to the Augustinians who assumed sponsorship. Father McCarthy was named the first president (1961-1968). Through his efforts Biscayne College, as the college was named, was put on a solid foundation. In 1968 he was named prior of Our Mother of Good Counsel Monastery at Merrimack College serving also as chairman of the Department of History (1968-1971). In 1971 he was elected president of Villanova University, a position he held until 1975. He was successful both in achieving peace and harmony on the campus and in continuing to improve the academic standards of the University.

From 1975 to 1979 Father took up parochial ministry as pastor of Resurrection Parish in Dania, Florida, and later, from 1977 to 1979, as assistant of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, Bronx, New York. But once again the academic community called upon him. From 1979-1981 he was Vice President for Academic Affairs at Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts. In 1981 he was called to Villanova to serve on the governing board of the Augustinian Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova and was named Assistant Provincial. He was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees of Villanova University.

In 1990 Father was assigned to Saint Augustine Church, Casselberry, Florida. At this time he was experiencing some health difficulties for which warmer climate were though to be better. In 1993, at the age of 81, he at the request of Archbishop McCarthy assumed the position of interim President of Saint Thomas University (formerly Biscayne College). In his usual thorough and professional manner he directed the course of the University until as new president was in place. Having personally witnessed the wisdom and dynamism of Father McCarthy, the new president kept him on as a consultant, a position he held until his final illness.

Father McCarthy died on 8 April 1996 and is buried in the Augustinian cemetery on the campus of Villanova University.

Works Consulted: *Necrology of the Augustinian Province of the United States of America (revised, May 2000)

The Edward J. McCarthy records consists of administrative records, correspondence, and reports of McCarthy's tenure as President of Villanova University mainl between 1971-1976.

The collection is arranged by format.

Villanova University Archives
Finding Aid Author
Rev. Dennis J. Gallagher, OSA, Beaudry Allen, Gerald Dierkes
Finding Aid Date
April 2020
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact Distinctive Collections staff.

Collection Inventory

Board of Trustees, Resolutions, 1973.
Box 1 Folder 1
Law School, Financial, 1971-1974.
Box 1 Folder 2

Correspondence, 1971-1975.
Box 1 Folder 3
Academic Affairs, 1971-1974.
Box 1 Folder 4
Alcohol Policy, 1974.
Box 1 Folder 5
Alumni Affairs, 1972-1974.
Box 1 Folder 6
Archdiocese of Philadelphia, 1972-1973.
Box 1 Folder 7
Athletics, 1971-1976.
Box 1 Folder 8
Academic Affairs Committee, 1973-1974.
Box 1 Folder 9
Investment Committee, 1971-1975.
Box 1 Folder 10
Board of Trustees, nominating and by-laws, 1973.
Box 1 Folder 11
Chemical Engineering Building Annex, 1972.
Box 1 Folder 12
Faculty collective bargaining, 1972-1973.
Box 1 Folder 13
Commencement, 1971-1972.
Box 1 Folder 14
Commencement, 1973.
Box 1 Folder 15
Commencement, 1974-1975.
Box 1 Folder 16
John F. Donnelly, 1973-1974.
Box 1 Folder 17
Department of Education (PA), 1972-1973.
Box 1 Folder 18
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 1974-1975.
Box 1 Folder 19
Financial Aid, 1974-1975.
Box 1 Folder 20
Honorary Degrees, 1972.
Box 1 Folder 21
Degrees, 1972.
Box 1 Folder 22
Search (Presidential), 1971-1975.
Box 1 Folder 23
Catholic Education, 1972-1974.
Box 1 Folder 24
Law School, 1971-1975.
Box 2 Folder 1
Thomas J. Mentzer (Award), 1973-1974.
Box 2 Folder 2
N.R.O.T.C., 1968-1972.
Box 2 Folder 3
Morris Estate, 1972-1973.
Box 2 Folder 4
Retrenchment, 1973-1976.
Box 2 Folder 5
University Senate, 1972.
Box 2 Folder 6
Vice President for Financial Affairs, 1972-1973.
Box 2 Folder 7

Affirmative Action, 1972-1975.
Box 2 Folder 8
Augustinian Historical Institute agreement, 1975.
Box 2 Folder 9
Library Examination center agreement, 1974.
Box 2 Folder 10
Patent, 1970-1975.
Box 2 Folder 11
Saint Mary's Hall, lease agreement, 1972-1974.
Box 2 Folder 12-13

Newspaper clippings, 1971-1996.
Box 2 Folder 14

Budget, 1971-1975.
Box 2 Folder 15
Commerce and Finance, site visit, 1973-1975.
Box 2 Folder 16
CUSP Board of Trustees survey, 1974-1975.
Box 2 Folder 17
CUSP management audit, 1973-1975.
Box 2 Folder 18
CUSP status, 1975.
Box 2 Folder 19
Faculty Research Program, 1973.
Box 2 Folder 20
Financial, 1970.
Box 2 Folder 21
Law School, 1973.
Box 2 Folder 22
Phi Beta Kappa, 1972-1973.
Box 2 Folder 23
Rank and Tenure, 1972-1973.
Box 2 Folder 24
Student Bill of Rights, 1975.
Box 2 Folder 25
Tenure, 1973.
Box 2 Folder 26
University Counseling Center, annual report, 1972-1973.
Box 2 Folder 27

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