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Office of the President & Chancellor: Bernard J. McQuaid records

Identifier: SHU-0003-001

Scope and Contents

The collection contains letters sent to Reverend McQuaid by Seton Hall students, parents, donors and others. Some of the letters concern donations for a new building to replace the main building lost in fire in January 1866. McQuaid's replies are not contained within the collection. Also included is an image of McQuaid.


  • Creation: 1855-1866, undated

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to researchers at the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center. Advance appointments are required for the use of archival materials.

Conditions Governing Use

All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Biographical / Historical

Bernard John McQuaid served as the first President of Seton Hall College (now Seton Hall University). He was born December 15, 1823, though some records indicate 1825, in New York, New York. His father, Bernard McQuaid, originally from Tyrone, Ireland, settled the family in Powel's Hook (now Jersey City), New Jersey. McQuaid's mother died when he was 4 and his father soon after. He was sent to an orphanage in New York City. He then attended Chambly College near Montreal, Canada. He returned to New York to study at St. Joseph's Seminary at Fordham University. It was here that he met Bishop Bayley.

McQuaid was ordained January 16, 1848 in New York City. His first assignment, through the intervention of Bishop Bayley, was to St. Vincent's Church in Madison, New Jersey. He also served in Morristown, Springfield and Mendham. In October 1853, he returned to Madison to serve in the new Diocese of Newark and the new Bishop of Newark, Bayley. The two were able to work closely together to establish the College that Bishop Bayley founded in memory of his aunt, Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton. McQuaid became the first president of Seton Hall College, as it was then known, in 1856. He continued serving in his position as rector of the cathedral in Newark and as Vice-General of the Diocese. After the first school year, he returned to his position in Newark and the Reverend Daniel J. Fisher became president of the College for two years; McQuaid was reappointed to the post in 1859. McQuaid remained at Seton Hall as president until 1867. It is during this time that the campus was moved to South Orange from Madison. The story goes that Bishop Bayley and McQuaid were traveling in a carriage, when Bishop Bayley saw a white marble villa and wondered if they could buy it. McQuaid set about seeing it done, and the villa and the surrounding farm were purchased. The College moved to their new land and the next few years would see the growth of the student body as well as the physical College, as buildings were constructed. The growth was marred by two fires during McQuaid's tenure, the gymnasium saw some fire damage in 1863 and the original marble villa was burned to the ground January 27, 1866.

In 1868, McQuaid was appointed Bishop to the newly created Diocese of Rochester, New York and was consecrated in St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York, July 12th. In Rochester, he continued his work in education, working to establish a parochial school system. He established St. Andrew's Preparatory Seminary in 1870 and opened St. Bernard's Seminary in 1893. Bishop McQuaid attended the Vatican Council in 1870. In 1905 he asked for a coadjutor, and Bishop Thomas F. Hickey was consecrated, 24 May, 1905. Bishop McQuaid died in 1909.


0.5 Linear Feet (7 folders)

Language of Materials




Bernard J. McQuaid was the first president of Seton Hall College, from 1856-1867. The collection consists of letters and reproductions of letters sent to Rev. McQuaid and an image of Rev. McQuaid.


This collection is arranged alphabetically by correspondent's last name. Reproductions of letters (where the originals are lost) have been separated out from original letters.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were transferred to the Archives and Special Collections Center from Seton Hall University. Terms of accession unknown.

Processing Information

Collection processed as part of Record Group 3: Office of the President by the Archives and Special Collections Center. Re-processed as separate collection and finding aid reformatted, M. Kenny, February 2007. Finding aid revised by Benjamin Clark and Tracy M. Jackson as part of the Overhaul Project collection survey, 2013. Collection re-processed and finiding aid revised by Patrick McCall, February 2020.

Office of the President & Chancellor: Bernard J. McQuaid records, 1855-1866, undated
Finding aid revised by M. Kenny. Further revisions by P. McCall.
2007, 2013, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US