Fr. Fidelis Reynolds OFM
FRIEDSAM MEMORIAL LIBRARY
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Fr. Fidelis Reynolds was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 8, 1873. He was the the first native born president of the college and seminary. He completed elementary and secondary school and then went on to study law. For several years he practiced law in New York City, but eventually decided to join the priesthood. He came to St. Bonaventure as a student in 1896 and graduated in 1901. In July of 1901 he entered the Franciscan order. After completing his novitiate in Paterson, NJ he went to Washington, D.C. to study theology at the Franciscan College at Mount Saint Sepulchre. Also while in the capital, he studied higher mathematics at Catholic University of America. He was ordained a priest in 1907 and the following year became a member of St. Bonaventure's faculty and taught Mathematics as well as Sacred Scripture at the college until elected president.
Upon the death of Fr. Joseph Butler, Fr. Fidelis was serving as vice president because Vice President Fr. Alexander Hickey was severely ill. Just after Fr. Fidelis was elected president a fire broke out on campus. Two large barns filled with hay, grain and farm equipment were destroyed on October 16, 1911. Fr. Fidelis' presidency is most remembered for the advances he made in the institution's academic structure. Fr. Fidelis separated the high school, college, and seminary more distinctly. The biggest advance was in Physical Sciences where, in all three schools, physics, biology, and chemistry were added. In addition, during the 1914-1915 scholastic year a pre- med course was introduced. It was also under Fr. Fidelis that Butler Gymnasium was begun, something of a suitable memorial to the previous president, but it did not open until 1919. Upon expiration of his term Fr. Fidelis was reappointed as president. He died in 1937 in Miami Beach, Florida.
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NAME: REYNOLDS, FIDELIS (FR) (OFM)
OTHER NAMES / SPELLINGS: NONE
DATE OF BIRTH: 1873-11-08
PLACE OF BIRTH: BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
RECEPTION INTO ORDER: 1901-07-25
ORDINATION DATE: 1906-06-04
WHERE ORDAINED: UNKNOWN
SERVED AT SBU:1908-1916
SERVED/ PRES: AUGUST 4, 1911-1916
SERVED ELSEWHERE: FACULTY MEMBER OF SBU IN 1908 / AS PROFESSOR OF SACRED SCRIPTURE AND HERMENEUTICS IN SEMINARY
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 1ST NATIVE AMERICAN PRESIDENT OF ST. BONAVENTURE \ SET CLEAR BOUNDARIES BETWEEN SBU'S HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE AND SEMINARY \ INSTALLATION OF ELECTRICITY IN ALL COLLEGE BUILDINGS WHILE PRESIDENT \ VAST RENOVATION OF ALUMNI HALL WHILE PRESIDENT
DATE OF DEATH: 1937-05-26
BURIAL PLACE: MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA
BUILDINGS NAMED AFTER: NONE
BUILDINGS CONSTRUCTED WHILE PRES: BUTLER MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM ERECTED ON FEBRUARY 17,1919
BUILDINGS DEDICATED: NONE,
LOCATION OF PHOTOS: ARCHIVES\FOUNDER'S ROOM
Angelo, Mark V., OFM. The History of St. Bonaventure University. St. Bonaventure, NY: Franciscan Institute, 1961.
Hammon, Walter, OFM. The First Bonaventure Men. Paterson, NJ: St. Anthony Guild Press, 1958.
St. Bonaventure University Archives Presidents Files
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This page was created by Kevin Lawless as part of an internship during the Fall 2004 semester. Any changes, other than minor editing, are noted at the bottom of the page.
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Created 08/30/04 by Kevin
Last updated: 03/02/06