The Quincy University community is saddened by the death of former president Rev. James (Jim) Toal OFM, who died on July 24 at Bon Secours Maria Manor in St Petersburg, Fla.. Fr. Jim was a professed Franciscan for more than 65 years — first as a Franciscan Brother of Brooklyn and then as a Friar Minor in Holy Name Province and a priest for 43 years.

Fr. Jim served as president of Quincy University for 14 years (1983-1997) and before that, he served as executive vice president of St. Bonaventure University from 1976 to 1983. Earlier, he was principal of St. Francis Prep in Brooklyn, N.Y. In 1997, Fr. Toal was assigned to Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., where he served as vice president and then as special assistant to the president. In 2008, he was assigned to St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg where he served as guardian until 2014.

“Fr. Jim was the first friar from outside the Sacred Heart Province to be president of Quincy College.  The Province appreciated his administrative skills which brought about the transformation of the college to a university and the renovation of Francis Hall, plus the building of the Health and Fitness Center,” said Fr. John Doctor, OFM, vice president of mission and ministry. “His style of leadership assisted him well in the revitalization Quincy University during his tenure.”

A native of New York City, Fr. Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in English (with minors in French and history) from St. Francis College in New York, a master’s in English from St. John’s University, and a Ph.D. in college administration and supervision from Fordham University. He also attended the Weston School of Theology in Boston. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Lawrence Graziano on Dec. 6, 1975 in New York City.

Under Fr. Jim’s leadership, QU began the master’s in business and master’s in education programs, acquired North Campus and QU Stadium, reinstated the football program and began the Pursuit in Learning in Society (POLIS) program.

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University ( is a Catholic, co-educational, residential university offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Quincy University’s intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women. For more information, please contact the Quincy University Office of Community Relations by calling (217) 228-5275.