Marist Mourns President Emeritus Dr. Richard Foy (1930-2019)


President Yellen reflects on the life of one of Marist’s esteemed leaders.

April 17,2019—It is with great sadness that I must inform you that Dr. Richard Foy, President Emeritus of Marist College, passed away last night.

Dr. Foy served as President of the College from 1958 to 1979, overseeing Marist’s development into a modern, residential college. After his presidency, he had a successful career with an executive search firm, Boyden Associates, but his extraordinary commitment to the College continued. He was appointed a Life Trustee in 1983, providing excellent counsel to Marist’s leadership for many years and representing a cherished connection to Marist’s heritage. A towering figure in the history of our college community, as well as an outstanding person, his passing truly marks the end of an era.

Dr. Foy was born in 1930 in the Bronx, joining the Marist Brothers after high school and graduating from Marist in 1950 with a BA in mathematics.  He went on to earn an MS and PhD in mathematics from St. John’s University and New York University, respectively.  Appointed president of Marist in 1958, he was at the time the youngest college president in the United States. Dr. Foy was known to all as Brother Linus, and many in the Marist community continued to refer to him as Linus even after he left the order in the 1960s. He went on to marry Mary Foy and have two children, Peter and Bridget, both of whom are Marist graduates.

Under Dr. Foy’s leadership, Marist changed from Marian College to Marist College, and its mission expanded to include the education of lay men and women. He ushered in an extraordinary period of growth and development, including the construction of the first residence halls, Leo, Sheahan, and Champagnat; the construction of the Student Center and James J. McCann Recreation Center; the completion of Donnelly Hall; the establishment of the first evening division, adult education programs, and graduate programs; and the development of 23 majors. Dr. Foy also oversaw the transfer of ownership of the College from the Marist Brothers to the Marist College Corporation, making the college an independent institution.

In recognition of his superb leadership over the years, the Marist College Alumni Executive Board honored Dr. Foy with the creation of the Dr. Linus Richard Foy Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna Award, the most prestigious of the College’s three distinguished alumni awards. The Dr. Linus Richard Foy award recognizes distinguished service to a profession, the College, the nation, or humanity. The Foy Townhouses on the Marist campus also bear his name in tribute to his service to the College.

Dr. Foy was predeceased by his wife Mary and is survived by his children Peter Foy ’95 and Dr. Bridget Foy Pomerantz ’98 and their families. He is also predeceased by his brother Peter, who established Marist’s first endowed scholarship in honor of their parents Peter and Virginia Foy.

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