William E. Farrell, O.S.A.

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1924 – 1973 (July 30)

William Elmer Farrell was born in Rochester, New York on April 23, 1924 to James Farrell and Nora Burke. He graduated from Villanova in 1945 with a degree in Civil Engineering and entered the Navy’s V-12 program as an ensign after graduation. Following World War II, he worked as a civil engineer for several years before entering the Order in 1950. He made his novitiate at New Hamburg, New York, and professed simple vows on September 10, 1951. He was solemnly professed on the same day in 1954, and was ordained to the priesthod by Bishop John McNamara at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 1955. 

Following graduate work at Catholic University, Father Farrell was assigned to Villanova in 1956 as an instructor in Civil Engineering. He also served as assistant chaplain and later as Dean of Student Activities. In 1962 he was named head of Villanova’s Development Program, first as assistant to the president and later as vice-president. He supervised all of the University’s fund raising operations, the Alumni Association, the Office of Public Relations, and the Career Development Center. Father Farrell was stricken with cancer for which he under-went several operations. He died July 30, 1973 at Fitzgerald-Mercy Hospital, at the age of 49. Following his Funeral Mass on Thursday, August 2nd, at which Father Robert Welsh, O.S.A. preached the homily, he was buried in the Community Cemetery on the campus of Villanova University.