Siena College held a memorial Mass on Tuesday for its late president, Brother Edward Coughlin, the friar and academic scholar who was so revered by the St. Bonaventure University as well.
Indeed, Coughlin, who was known as “Brother Ed,” who died July 30 after suffering a catastrophic stroke during heart surgery, was a graduate and former SBU professor and trustee. He was 71.
His funeral and interment were held Aug. 3 and 4 at St. Bonaventure.
Siena College canceled late afternoon classes Tuesday so students and staff could join the hour-long service, according to the Times Union newspaper of Albany. Hundreds attended the Mass.
During the Mass, Siena officials announced the founding of the Br. F. Edward Coughlin O.F.M. Endowment to Advance Franciscan Values.
The endowment — which will support the Siena mission and its connection to the values of St. Francis of Assisi — was founded by the Coughlin family and their in-laws, the Pingelski family.
”We want make sure Brother Ed’s love for Siena’s Franciscan tradition continues,” John Murray, chair of Siena’s Board of Trustees, said when he announced the endownment at the end of the Mass. “Let us continue to live the Franciscan values that Brother Ed taught us.”
Siena’s board and the friars of the Holy Name Province have raised $1 million so far in support of the endowment. College officials said they hope to raise another $1 million.
After Coughlin’s funeral Mass in August, Holy Name Province’s Provincial Minister, Father Kevin Mullen, announced that the annual Franciscan Cup will be renamed in memory of Coughlin. The Bonnies and Siena Saints men’s basketball teams will square off on the court Nov. 12 for the cup.
Coughlin was named interim president of Siena in August 2014, when his predecessor, the Very Rev. Kevin J. Mullen, was elected to lead the Franciscan friars of the Holy Name Province. Mullen is a St. Bonaventure trustee. Coughlin was officially appointed the 11th president of Siena that November, and was formally inaugurated in a campus ceremony in October 2015.
At the time of his appointment as interim president of Siena, Coughlin was a Siena trustee and vice president for Franciscan mission at St. Bonaventure. He served twice as director of St. Bonaventure’s Franciscan Institute, where he oversaw the research program’s academic course offerings and extensive publications, and was a member of the Institute’s summer faculty.