Boston College to rename oldest school for alumnus

Boston College will name its College of Arts and Sciences after alumnus and donor Robert J. Morrissey, the school will announce Thursday.

BC said the most recent gift from Morrissey, a local attorney, makes him the largest benefactor in the school's history. Neither the school nor Morrissey would disclose the amount.

The naming is scheduled to take place April 30, according to the school spokesman.

Morrissey graduated in 1960 from BC and served as a trustee from 1980-2014, according to the school. He oversaw investment of the school's endowment, which grew from $18 million to $2.2 billion under his oversight.

"I wanted to set an example for future generations of alumni to give back to Boston College for all that it has given us," Morrissey said.


The College of Arts and Sciences school is the oldest and largest of the university's eight schools and colleges, with 6,867 undergraduate and graduate students and 450 full- and part-time faculty within 22 departments, according to the school.

In 2013, BC opened Stokes Hall, a $78 million humanities building that houses several arts and sciences departments.

"No individual has contributed more to the growth of the endowment that is so critical to our future than Bob Morrissey," said John Fish, chairman of the board of trustees.

As an undergraduate, Morrissey commuted to BC from Watertown, where his widowed mother raised him, the college said. He graduated cum laude with an economics degree then earned a law degree at Harvard Law School before joining the firm Withington, Cross, Park & Groden.

In 1990, he co-founded the Boston-based law firm Morrissey, Hawkins and Lynch, where he is a senior partner.

"My classmates and I were often the first in our families to get a chance at higher education, but we knew that we were part of something special and of great importance to our families — Boston College," Morrissey said.


Contact Laura Krantz at laura.krantz@globe.com. Follower her on Twitter @laurakrantz.