Friday’s NY Times has an Obituary for Jay Oliva PHD,’55, former President of NYU. I have a copy if you need it.
May He Rest In Peace.
McEneney, Mike (MC1953)
[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated. Found it. No mention of Alma Mater so it “flies” under my “radar”.]
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L. JAY OLIVA
OLIVA–L. Jay. The NYU community grieves deeply the loss of its cherished 14th president, L. Jay Oliva. No one served NYU better or more faithfully than he, or did more to shape the NYU we know today.
Starting as a member of the history faculty in 1960, he went on to be the last dean of the Heights campus, helping to guide NYU through some of its most challenging moments. From that point forward, through his tenure as chancellor and then president, he had a key hand in engineering what has been described as the greatest success story in contemporary American higher education.
Understanding the diversity of student success at NYU, he cheered on NYU’s top students, our athletes, our performing artists, and our community service volunteers. Educator, mentor, leader, and great colleague and friend — he loved NYU through-and-through, believed in its promise, and led the way in making NYU a respected national research university and jump-starting its global efforts.
All those who wear violet mourn today, and we send our deepest sympathies to his wife of 54 years, Mary Ellen, his son Eddie and wife Christine, and his son Jay, wife Tina, and their children Caelinn and Declan. His absence from our community will be keenly felt, but his memory will live on in the great institution he did so much to build.
Martin Lipton, Chair, NYU Board of Trustees
John Sexton, President, NYU
Published in The New York Times on Apr. 18, 2014
Oliva, L. Jay [MC1955 RIP]
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[JR: A better obit.]
NYU’s Fourteenth President L. Jay Oliva Passes Away
By Dana Daniels on April 18th, 2014
On Thursday April 17, NYU’s fourteenth president L. Jay Oliva passed away. His cause of death has yet to be released. The New York State native was 80-years-old at the time of his passing.
A graduate of Manhattan College and Syracuse University, Oliva began his tenure at NYU as a Russian professor in 1960 and served as an administrator from 1972 to 1991, when he assumed the role of NYU’s fourteenth president. After 11 years of service as president, Oliva passed the torch to John Sexton in 2002.
”Under Jay Oliva, we have really achieved much of what we dreamt of 25 years ago,” NYU chairman Martin Lipton told the Times in 2001. ”We have finished the transformation from a regional commuter school to a global university.”
Under Oliva, NYU completed the first $1 billion fundraising campaign in higher education. Furthermore, the idea of NYU as a “global university” can be directly attributed to Oliva, who wanted to give every NYU student the opportunity to study abroad. And as the American university that sends the most students abroad, it’s safe to say that Oliva’s mission has been pursued even after his presidency.
In the years after his retirement from the presidency, Oliva remained a part of the NYU community through his leadership of the Skirball Center.
“The NYU we know today — the NYU that attracts the finest students from all over the world, that can go head-to-head to recruit scholars at the top of their fields, that sends more students to study abroad than any other, that is a member of the University Athletic Association — would not have been possible without Jay Oliva,” said Lipton and Sexton in an email to the NYU community. “He was a key engineer of the transformation of NYU.”
Our thoughts are with Oliva’s family and loved ones.
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