CUA Remembers Vincent P. Walter Jr.

A memorial Mass for Vincent P. Walter Jr. drew hundreds of mourners Friday as the Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., university President led the CUA community in remembering one of its "most loyal, faithful, unswerving and tireless" alumni and servants.

"He gave his life, day in and day out, to serve his alma mater. He loved the university and the university community," said Father O'Connell, who celebrated the Mass. We were his whole life in so many ways ... (CUA) was the harvest he helped to shepherd."

Mr. Walter, vice president and general secretary of The Catholic University of America, was struck and killed by an automobile on upper Wisconsin Avenue Thursday, Aug. 3, 2000.

He was 62 years old.

The university community was stunned by the news, delivered Friday morning. By noon, more than 300 people had gathered in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the Mass. Folding chairs had to be set up for the crowd, which included a broad cross section of those who worked with Mr. Walter during the course of his 28 years in CUA's employ.

"How touched and moved he would be to see all of you here: trustees, priests, administrators, faculty, staff, students, friends," Father O'Connell said. "Now, in times of difficulty, we all know where to gather, to pray and be together...It is our faith that strengthens us."

Vincent P. Walter Jr. was named university vice president by Father O’Connell in September 1999. Responsible for a number of executive services and special projects, he also served as the secretary of the CUA Board of Trustees and the Corporation.

He served five university presidents as CUA’s chief protocol officer and helped design and direct most major university events, including commencements, inaugurations, convocations, the Papal visit in 1979 and the annual American Cardinals Dinner since its inception in 1989.

Born March 19, 1938, Mr. Walter graduated from CUA in 1960, earned a master’s degree in 1973 and taught in the public schools of Maryland for some years before being named executive director of a national teachers professional association. He returned to the university in 1972 as national alumni director and moved to the president’s staff for community relations in 1979.

A parishioner of St. Mark’s Church in College Park, Md., Mr. Walter is survived by wife Elaine R. Walter, Ph.D., a CUA graduate and longtime dean of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at Catholic University, and the couple’s two children, Vincent III and Deanne, both alumni of The Catholic University of America.