William McInnes, S.J., USF president from 1972 to 1976.
William McInnes, S.J., who served as president of the
University of San Francisco from 1972 to 1976, died Dec. 8. He was 86.
Prior to coming to USF, Fr. McInnes served as president of
Fairfield University in Connecticut from 1964 to 1973. At Fairfield, he was
known for his support of education for people of all ages and for his advocacy
of broader interaction between the university and the community.
During Fr. McInnes’ presidency at USF, the Fromm Institute
for Lifelong Learning was established. Fr. McInnes also brought to the
president’s office a reputation for balancing budgets and for fiscal
After leaving USF, Fr. McInnes was named president of the
Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C., a post he
held for 12 years. In 1990, he became parochial vicar of St. Thomas Aquinas
Parish in Connecticut, where he served as campus minister to the University of
Connecticut. He was the first Jesuit priest to hold that assignment.
In his retirement, he joined Boston College as an adjunct
professor, faculty adviser to the Jesuit honor society, and chaplain to members
of the college’s alumni association.
A Jesuit priest for 52 years, Fr. McInnes served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II, holding the post of meteorology officer in Africa, India, and China. Afterward, he entered the Society of Jesus and earned a doctorate in business from New York University. As on of the first Jesuit educators to specialize in business administration, Fr. McInnes was both a faculty member and dean at Boston College's business school in the 1960s.