Timothy S. Healy

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Rev. Timothy S. Healy, S.J. (April 25, 1923 – December 30, 1992) was a Jesuit priest who straddled the religious and secular life in a career that included the presidency of Georgetown University and finally leadership of the New York Public Library. In a career that spanned almost 50 years, Healy had also been Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the City University of New York (CUNY).

Healy was born in New York City on April 25, 1923. He joined the Society of Jesus after graduating from Regis High School, a Jesuit school in Manhattan, in 1940. He earned degrees in English literature and philosophy from Woodstock College and studied theology at the University of Louvain in Belgium and at the University of Valencia in Spain.

Healy taught English for several years at Fordham Preparatory School and was ordained a priest in 1953. He earned a master's degree in English literature at Fordham University in 1959 and his doctorate from Oxford in 1965.

It was at Fordham that Healy first impressed his superiors as a potential administrator. He rose through the ranks, becoming Fordham University’s executive vice president before he was tapped for the job as vice chancellor of CUNY. For seven years, between 1969 and 1976, he served CUNY with distinction and had a major impact on its early development as a university system.

On July 1, 1976, Healy became the 46th President of Georgetown University.[1] During his 13-year tenure, Georgetown emerged into the national spotlight as a top institution. Admissions doubled, the university endowment increased from $38 million to nearly $228 million, and the campus facilities expanded to reflect the university's rising academic prestige. While at Georgetown, in addition to his duties as President of the University, he also taught Shakespeare. Healy's tenure was not without controversy, however, as his conservative views roiled the campus at times, particularly over whether or not to divest from investments in companies operating in South Africa. Healy also sold the WGTB broadcasting license to the University of the District of Columbia for $1 in 1979 in order to silence its generally liberal voice. UDC would resell the license to C-SPAN for $25 million two decades later.

In 1989, Healy resigned as President of Georgetown to accept the position of President of the New York Public Library where he served until 1992. During his tenure, the library's endowment increased from $170 million to over $220 million.[2]

Healy suffered a massive heart attack in Newark Liberty International Airport and died on December 30, 1992.


  1. ^ Kuckro, Rod (April 15, 1976). "Healy Succeeds Henle" (PDF). The Hoya. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Celebrating the Life of Timothy S Healy: a Biblion: Bulletin of the New York Public Library vol. 2, no.1, Fall, 1993. p. 177-191.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Robert J. Henle, S.J.
President of Georgetown University
Succeeded by
Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J.