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John E. Brooks

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John E. Brooks
25th President of the College of the Holy Cross
In office
Preceded byRaymond J. Swords
Succeeded byGerard Reedy
Personal details
Born(1923-07-13)July 13, 1923[1]
Dorchester, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedJuly 2, 2012(2012-07-02) (aged 88)
Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.
EducationCollege of the Holy Cross (BA)
Boston College (MS)
Pontifical Gregorian University (PhD)

John E. Brooks SJ (July 13, 1923 – July 2, 2012) was an American Jesuit priest who served as the 28th president of the College of the Holy Cross from 1970 to 1994. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1950.


Before becoming a priest, Brooks graduated from Boston Latin School in 1942, then enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1943, serving in the European Theater of Operations from 1944 to 1946. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in physics in 1949, obtained a master's degree in geophysics from Boston College, and a doctorate from the Pontifical Gregorian University.[2]

He was a member of the Faculty of the Theology Department at Holy Cross and served as Vice President and Dean of College. He also served as Chair of Religious Studies and Theology. During his presidency, he and Peter Likins of Lehigh University were the two college presidents contacted by the Ivy League in the first stage of the formation of the Patriot League during the early 1980s.[3] Following his retirement as President in 1994, Brooks remained at the College as President Emeritus.

In 1968, Brooks recruited a group of young African-American men to study at Holy Cross. A 2007 article in BusinessWeek suggested that "Brooks helped shape an exceptional group of overachievers", including Clarence Thomas and Edward P. Jones as chronicled in the 2012 book on the integration of Holy Cross, "Fraternity" by Diane Brady.[4] Brooks Music Hall is named in honor John Brooks, one of the only halls named after a person while they were alive. Construction of the building was overseen by Father Brooks' nephew Paul F. Brooks Jr.


After being treated for lymphoma at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center-University Worcester Campus, Brooks died on July 2, 2012, at age 88.[5]


  1. ^ "Newsroom | in Memoriam: Rev. John e. Brooks, S.J. '49, 1923-2012".
  2. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (2012-07-05). "The Rev. John E. Brooks Dies at 88; Widened Paths to Holy Cross". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-05-13.
  3. ^ Feinstein, John. The Last Amateurs. Boston, Massachusetts: Little, Brown and Company, 2000.
  4. ^ "The Holy Cross Fraternity". BusinessWeek. Bloomberg. 2007-03-12. Archived from the original on March 4, 2007. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  5. ^ Brooks, John E. "Ex-Holy Cross president dies at age 88". Worcester Times. Retrieved July 2, 2012.