On June 25, Boston College lost Father William Neenan, S.J., a faithful member of the community for over 30 years. His warmth and life was felt all over campus through his unwavering commitment to connect with students. He served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties, and Vice President and Special Assistant to University President William P. Leahy, S.J.
As a result of the magnetic presence Father Neenan had on campus and the loss felt by the greater BC community in recent weeks, a Facebook page called Live Like Neenan was created on June 30. Self-described as a campaign, the page was, “started by friends of Father Neenan to encourage others to Live Like Neenan.”
In his official capacities, Father Neenan served as a dedicated administrator while at BC. Outside of his job description, he took initiative to bind the BC community together in new ways. By founding the Iowa/Nebraska Luncheon Club, Father Neenan allowed an opportunity for students from the Midwest to connect with one another. He enabled students by showing them that they could be fully present in their education in Boston while staying grounded in their hometowns.
The page offers subscribers daily reminders to live every day in Father Neenan’s spirit. By pledging to be kinder to one another and bring more of Father Neenan’s Midwest charm into our lives, we may strive to carry on his legacy for generations to come.
Father Neenan embodied the teachings of St. Ignatius' The Spiritual Exercises: We “ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it.” Father Neenan offered forgiveness and trusted often, enjoyed his friendships, and loved conversing with students, all with a smile upon his face for any passing stranger to receive.
See Father Neenan's talk at Agape Latte here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K31Wo1wjVy4