Campbell, Gerald J.Died
Jesuit Father Gerard J. Campbell, a former president of Georgetown University, died August 9, 2012, at Georgetown Jesuit Community. A Jesuit for 73 years and a priest for 61, he was 92.
Gerard J. Campbell, son of Clara Zimmerman and Nicholas J. Campbell, was born in St. John’s, Pa., August 26, 1919. Following graduation from St. Vincent’s Preparatory School in Latrobe, Pa., he attended St. Vincent College, also in Latrobe, for two years. He then entered the Society on September 7, 1939, at St. Isaac Jogues Novitiate in Wernersville, Pa., and made his first vows on September 6, 1941. Fr. Campbell was ordained a priest on June 17, 1951, at Woodstock College in Woodstock, Md.
Fr. Campbell earned his Bachelor of Arts in Latin in 1943 and licentiate in philosophy in 1945, both from West Baden College. After ordination, he earned a licentiate in sacred theology from Woodstock College in 1952. He continued his studies in history, earning a Masters from Fordham University in 1954 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1957. He returned to Princeton for post-doctoral studies in history in 1962-1963.
Throughout his life, Fr. Campbell was a leader in higher education. His most notable assignments were as president of Georgetown University, provincial assistant for colleges and universities for the Maryland Province, director of Woodstock Theological Society in Washington, D.C., and professor at Loyola College (now University Maryland).
His first assignment, as a scholastic, was as professor of history, economics and political science at Saint Joseph’s College (now University) in Philadelphia in 1945. Following ordination in 1957, he spent five years as professor of history at Loyola. He began his six-year tenure at Georgetown in 1963. After a year as executive vice president, he was named president of Georgetown University in 1964 and served until 1969. During that time he was also rector of the university’s Jesuit community from 1964 to 1968.
Fr. Campbell was named provincial assistant for colleges and universities in 1969. In that role, which he held for five years, he oversaw the five institutions in the Maryland Province.
Fr. Campbell’s next assignment returned him to the novitiate where he was rector from 1974 to 1979. Then he returned to Washington, D.C., taking on the dual tasks of director and superior of the Woodstock Theological Center from 1979 to 1983. He remained in the District to become founding director of the Center of Jesuit Spirituality based at Holy Trinity Parish, beginning in 1983. In 2004 he stepped down as director but continued to assist with retreats and spiritual direction. He continued to serve the Georgetown and Holy Trinity communities as confessor, spiritual director and trusted friends—and to serve with wisdom and good humor.