Mount remembers the legacy of William O’Hara, third college president

January 24, 2018

Dr. William T. O’Hara

Mount Saint Mary College’s third president, Dr. William T. O’Hara, passed away on January 16, 2018 in Rhode Island.

O’Hara joined the Mount in 1972 as the college’s third president and a professor of Constitutional Law. Throughout his four-year tenure at the Mount, he oversaw the development of the Center for Community and Educational Services, a program that allowed adult students to attend classes on the weekends. The program was the forerunner to the college’s current continuing education program. 

O’Hara also established the Business Administration program, began fundraising for a student center on campus, and was passionate about using the Mount’s research and educational opportunities to benefit the local community as well as its students.

O’Hara left the Mount in 1976 to become the fifth president of Bryant University in Rhode Island and professor of Management, a position he held until retiring in 1989. 

James Cotter, professor of English and longest-serving faculty member at the Mount, remembers O’Hara with fondness.

“President Bill O’Hara was a good friend of the faculty who did much to increase our numbers and pay scale with his innovative leadership,” Cotter noted. “He began the Business program and Communication Arts and strengthened the liberal arts at the college. He was a devout Christian who put his beliefs into practice by his kindness, honesty, and fidelity to duty. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him at the Mount.”

An obituary for O’Hara can be found here