Christendom College mourns the passing of longtime benefactor, past board member, and dearly beloved member of the Christendom family Dr. John “Jack” Ward, who passed away peacefully on February 17, 2022. Ward gave millions of dollars in support of Christendom’s mission beginning in 1983 and was one of the top five donors in the college’s history, generously supporting countless students over the course of 31 years. He was 94 years old.
“John Ward played a large role in the success and growth of Christendom College,” said College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell. “From his early years as a member of the Board to his generous contributions over so many years, he has had a profound impact on so many in our community. May he rest in the peace of Christ.”
Born in 1928, Ward served honorably in the U.S. Navy before attending the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his B.S. and Medical degrees. He later went to San Francisco’s St. Francis Hospital, where he did his pathology residency. He served as a pathologist in Pittsburgh at Mercy Hospital for most of his career, while also launching a medical laboratory that was eventually purchased by Corning, Inc.
Ward spent the rest of his time supporting his passion, Catholic education, including joining Christendom College’s Board of Directors in 1979, helping shepherd the college in its early stages to its current campus in Front Royal, Virginia. After stepping down from the Board in 1981, Ward continued to give generously to the college, enabling Christendom to provide scholarship aid to countless students and their families over the course of the next three decades. Thanks to the incredible generosity of Ward, many students were able to attend and graduate from Christendom who otherwise would not have been able to attend the college.
During Ward’s final weeks, when asked about his life, he replied modestly that “It’s better to give than receive”. Throughout his life, he remained true to his simple, humble roots. Ward’s decades of support for Christendom’s mission will never be forgotten and he will be sorely missed by the entire Christendom community.
May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.