July 10, 2015
Communications and Marketing
Dr. William "Bill" Joseph Farrell, 78, a former trustee of Saint Anselm College, passed away at Hanover Hill Health Care Center in Manchester, on Wednesday, July 8, 2015.
Born on Aug. 17, 1936, in West Allis, Wisconsin, Bill graduated from Marquette University in 1958 and went on to earn a master's degree and a Ph.D. in English and Speech from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as an M.B.A. from Marquette University later on. His distinguished academic career spanned 50 years, beginning as an English professor at the University of Chicago. In 1984, Bill became president of Plymouth University, and in 1992, he was appointed chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire, a position he held for eight years. In 2001, Bill was named interim president of Rivier University in Nashua, and in 2002, was named president of Rivier University, from where he retired in 2011. Bill was a member of many boards and organizations, including being a devoted trustee of Saint Anselm College from 1992 to 2011. He also received an honorary degree from Saint Anselm in 1998.
"I was delighted that Dr. Farrell accepted our invitation to join our Board of Trustees. He brought with him a tremendous amount of knowledge about the issues of higher education both locally and nationally. In addition to his vast experience in public higher education, he brought a real love for Catholic higher education where he got his start and a genuine appreciation for the value of the liberal arts," says President Emeritus Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B. "He was a steady, moderate voice for improvement of academic excellence at Saint Anselm. I pray that the good Lord rewards him richly for all his service and brings consolation and peace to his wife and family."
Bill is survived by his wife of 55 years, Carol (Leeming) Farrell of Manchester, as well as three children and seven grandchildren. Calling hours will be held at the Rivet Funeral Home in Merrimack, N.H., on Sunday, July 12, and a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church on Monday, July 13.