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CFB Dedicates Board Room to Founding Board Chair Fr. Joseph A. O'Hare, S.J.

April 14, 2016

Today, the Campaign Finance Board dedicated its newly renovated board room at 100 Church Street to Fr. Joseph A. O'Hare, S.J., the agency's founding Board Chair who served in that role from 1988 to 2003. 

The CFB's current Chair Rose Gill Hearn said: "It is befitting that we name this new boardroom, where the business of this important institution will be carried out, after Fr. O’Hare. Fr. O’Hare helped shape the agency through his integrity, fairness and intelligence, and his imprint is still present in the work of the agency.  Now his legacy continues in this very special way.   And we at the CFB will continue to benefit from this dedication because of the respect and admiration Father O’Hare’s name elicits from everyone who knows him."

After the regularly scheduled Board Meeting, Fr. O'Hare and Board Members and staff past and present gathered for a dedication ceremony. The agency's first executive director, Nicole Gordon, and O'Hare's succeeding Chairman, Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr., both delivered remarks extolling his contributions to and lasting influence on the City's campaign finance program. A video montage reflecting on his 15 year tenure was shown at the ceremony. 

Former CFB Executive Director Nicole Gordon, said, "I've thought a lot and written some about what makes an effective campaign finance program, and you can say some structural things about how they're set up, but at the end of the day, it's about the individuals who serve. They have to be people of conviction and integrity. That is what Father O'Hare established here." 

Former CFB Board Chair Frederick A.O Schwarz, Jr. said, "The city as a whole, as the editorial boards said, as the good government groups said, as the politicians in Washington said, everybody had enormous respect for Father Joe O'Hare. I'm an admirer of Pope Francis, and I think Father O'Hare was a precursor to Pope Francis because he coupled a faith with an equal faith in the potential of human beings." 


Born in the Bronx in 1931, Joseph A. O’Hare attended Regis High School in New York City prior to entering the Society of Jesus in 1949. He trained for the priesthood primarily while stationed at Ateneo de Manila University, where he was ordained in 1961. He returned to the Ateneo and served as a professor there from 1967 to 1972, earning a doctorate from Fordham University in 1968. In 1975, Father O’Hare was named editor in chief of America magazine.  Father O’Hare served at America until 1984, when he was appointed the 32nd president of Fordham University. While president of Fordham, Father O’Hare served on a number of civic boards, including Edward I. Koch’s Mayor’s Committee on Appointments and the Charter Revision Commission.  In 1988, he was appointed the first chairman of the Campaign Finance Board, a role he filled until 2003. After serving 19 years as president of Fordham, the longest tenure in the institution’s history, Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., retired in 2003 and became once again an associate editor of America. After his retirement from Fordham and in addition to his work at America, Father O’Hare also served one year as president of his alma mater, Regis High School. Father O’Hare now resides at Murray-Weigel Hall, adjacent to Fordham University in the Bronx.