The Catholic University of America

Nov. 7, 2007

Rev. John Whalen, CUA Interim Rector in 1969, Dies at 79

Rev. John Whalen

Rev. John Whalen, interim rector of The Catholic University of America in 1969, died Nov. 7 at his home in Silver Spring, Md. He was 78 years old.

The oldest son in a family of three, Father Whalen was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., on May 30, 1953. An alumnus of Catholic University, Father Whalen taught at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., before returning to CUA. He was a managing editor for the "New Catholic Encyclopedia" and founder of the CORPUS Books Publishing Company.

During his year as interim rector at CUA, Father Whalen helped to establish the Consortium of Universities in Washington, D.C. After retiring from full-time university service, he created an organization called the CONSERN, which helped students in need of financial aid and loans. His surviving nephew, Philip, described him as independent and deeply committed to education and the academic life. He had an uncanny business sense and was able to put that talent to good use in service to the Church and the university.

Philip fondly recalled his uncle's summary of life in retirement, "I puff my pipe and pet my pup." His brother, Dr. Joseph Whalen, survives him along with his nephews, Philip and Joseph Jr., and his niece Mary. Funeral arrangements in Troy, N.Y., are pending.