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Former Saint Mary’s president dies at 81

| Monday, December 4, 2017

Dr. William Hickey, who served as the ninth president of Saint Mary’s from 1986-1997, died Tuesday at age 81 in Sanibel, Florida, according to an email College President Jan Cervelli sent to the College community Friday.

A biology professor and nationally acclaimed insect geneticist, Dr. Hickey spent almost 40 years at Saint Mary’s — during which he served as academic vice president and dean of faculty before advancing to the role of president. Dr. Hickey left his home in Pennsylvania to receive a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Notre Dame, according to the email.

Cervelli said in the email that Dr. Hickey’s contributions have made lasting impressions on the College.

“He bolstered faculty research and professional development grant program funds,” she said. “Dr. Hickey was a tireless promotor of the College, overseeing an increase in the endowment from $20 million to $75 million during his tenure. He launched the Center for Academic Innovation [and] the merit scholarship program and directed a reorganization of the College’s governance structure.”

Dr. Hickey is survived by his wife Barbara and his children William Jr., Timothy, Sandra — a 1989 alumna of the College — and Kristina. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Susan. Cervelli said the Saint Mary’s community must also remember his legacy.

“We owe Dr. Hickey a great debt for upholding the mission and furthering the values of Saint Mary’s,” Cervelli said in the email. “I, along with the rest of the Saint Mary’s community, mourn his passing and celebrate his life.”

Saint Mary’s invites those who knew Dr. Hickey to visit http://bit.ly/in-memoriam-dr-hickey to share memories and thoughts. A memorial service for Dr. Hickey will be held at the Church of Our Lady of Loretto in the spring.

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