William F. Donnelly, S.J. ’49, MST ’64 passed away on October 26 as the Fall magazine was going to print. Born in Galveston, Texas, Fr. Donnelly was a long-time professor of economics in the Leavey School of Business and former academic vice president. A graduate of Bellarmine College Preparatory School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business and master’s degree in sacred theology from Santa Clara University, an M.A. in economics from Gonzaga University, and a Ph.D. in economics from New York University. Before beginning his teaching career, he worked for Tide Water Oil Company for two years until he joined the Society of Jesus in 1951. He was ordained a priest in the summer of 1963 and later held a position as rector of the Santa Clara Jesuit Community.
Fr. Donnelly considered teaching his favorite work and thought of himself as a “clear and thorough teacher.” He held positions at Bellarmine and Loyola Marymount University before settling at Santa Clara. Donnelly also spent time pursuing academic as well as administrative interests: He traveled in Europe to study the development of international economics and once spent two weeks in Jordan consulting with Jordanian officials about educational needs and establishing a framework for securing candidates for University admission.
Since 1993, Fr. Donnelly served as chaplain for the Catala Club, a women’s auxiliary founded in 1930, long before women were admitted as students at Santa Clara. In addition to his work as an educator and administrator, Fr. Donnelly was interested in photography, theatre, music, and running. His photography was displayed in 1975 at the de Saisset Museum, along with photographs by eight other Santa Clara Jesuits.
Memorial donations may be sent to the Jesuit Community for the Jesuit Scholarship Fund or the Catala Club.