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Collection on the Rev. John T. Richardson, C.M.

Identifier: DPUA0089

Scope and Contents

This collection includes materials generated by Rev. John T. Richardson during his tenure as DePaul University president as well as material from his work at DePaul during the previous presidencies of Rev. Comerford J. O'Malley, C.M. (1944-1964) and Rev. John R. Cortelyou, C.M. (1964-1981). Additional material was transferred from the Office of the President and associated executive offices during Fr. Richardson's tenure. Formats and topics covered include correspondence and memoranda, minutes, reports, financial data, publicity, and brochures. Most of the records are related to Fr. Richardson's relationship to various university departments, individuals, and activities. There are also files for extra-university organizations of which Fr. Richardson was a member as well as extensive records of convocations and honorary degrees, corporate and private solicitation, and the Goodman/DePaul School of Drama. A small amount of his personal correspondence is also included in the collection.


  • 1950-1999

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use. Consult with SPCA staff concerning access to Series 5, Confidential Records.

Biographical / Historical

Rev. John T. Richardson, C.M. has served numerous administrative and faculty roles at DePaul University, beginning in 1954. Fr. Richardson, born 1923, came to DePaul to serve as dean of the Graduate School in 1954. He had previously taught theology and served as dean of students at Kendrick Seminary, St. Louis, after his 1949 ordination. Fr. Richardson began teaching jurisprudence at the DePaul College of Law in 1955, and in 1960 moved from dean of the Graduate School to become the university's executive vice-president. He assumed the presidency in 1981, succeeding Rev. John R. Cortelyou, C.M. In addition to his administrative duties, he served on the university's Board of Trustees beginning in 1954.

Fr. Richardson oversaw a period of dramatic growth at DePaul during his presidency, including expansion to the former Goldblatt building in the Loop, the Campaign for DePaul fundraising and expansion effort, and the Cornerstone Campaign that involved the foundation of the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. He retired from the presidency in 1992 and assumed the title of chancellor, continuing to advise the Board of Trustees and the next university president, Rev. John P. Minogue, C.M.

From 1997 to 2010, he took a leave of absence from duties at DePaul to teach at Christ the King Seminary in Nyeri, Kenya. In 2011 he published his memoirs, The Playful Hand of God. In 2015 he published Readings in Catholic Social Teaching, a collection of papal teachings and documents he originally had used as part of instruction curriculum at Christ the King Seminary.


40.6 Linear Feet (96 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is organized into five series: 1.Subject Files; 2. Presidential and Administrative Office Transfers; 3. Presidential Office Files; 4. Executive Offices General Material; 5. Confidential Records. Materials from Series 1, Subject Files, contain primarily correspondence and memoranda, with occasional minutes, reports, and brochures related to Fr. Richardson's relationship to various university departments, individuals, and activities. The materials in Series 2, Presidential and Administrative Office Transfers, received from the Presidential Office and other anonymous administrative offices, are divided into Internal (University) and External (Richardson's involvement with all outside groups) categories. Series 3, Personal Office Files, contains material received from Fr. Richardson's office during both his presidency (1981-1992) and while he served as Chancellor (1992- ). Series 4, Executive Offices General Material, contains material collected from larger accessions from the general Executive Offices. Although believed to have originated in Rev. Richardson's office, exact provenance cannot be determined. Consult with SPCA staff concerning access to Series 5, Confidential Records. See series-level descriptions for individual arrangement details.

Physical Location

3/14/G; 3/15/A-B

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession 1986.3; 1986.4; 1988.2; 1988.5; 1989.15; 1989.23; 1990.6; 1990.39; 1991.14; 1991.23; 1991.31; 1991.35; 1991.4; 1992.16; 1992.41; 1993.3; 1993.28; 1994.11; 1994.6; 1994.2; 1994.5; 1994.17; 1995.29; 2014.086; 1996.24; 1996.25; 1997.11; 1997.12; 1997.16; 1997.27; 1999.40; 1994.18; 1996.26; 2000.41

Related Materials

DePaul University Board of Trustees records; University Senate records; Collection on DePaul University buildings

Guide to Collection on the Very Rev. John T. Richardson, C.M.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the DePaul Special Collections and Archives Repository

John T. Richardson Library
2350 N. Kenmore Ave.
Room 314
Chicago Illinois 60614