College mourns passing of esteemed Board chairman

Robert MacBride

Dr. Robert MacBride

Dr. Robert James MacBride, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, passed away suddenly in Ottawa, Ontario, on May 26. He had served on the Board for 10 years and was an admired leader and great supporter of the college.

Michael Shea '72, previously Vice Chairman of the Board who has assumed the role of Chairman, says Saint Joseph's was extremely fortunate to have the dedication, support, and leadership of MacBride. "Along with Bob's family and friends, the Board of Trustees has suffered a great loss with his untimely passing, and our sincere condolences go out to Jean and their family," Shea states. "I'm honored to serve as the next chairman following the lead of such a great man."

According to President Joe Lee, "Dr. MacBride was one of the nicest and most patient people I ever met. He was willing to make hard decisions, but he made hard decisions with the softest edge that I ever encountered."

MacBride grew up in Ontario and raised his family there. Trained as a physician, he enjoyed a broad and varied work career, beginning in family practice. He later worked for the Ontario Ministry of Health and in the occupational health field. A move to the insurance industry brought him to UNUM in Toronto and then Portland, Maine. Most recently he was VP, Chief Medical Director, Group Insurance at Prudential.

His evolving career brought him a wealth of friendships, which he cherished. It also brought MacBride and his wife, Jean, to the United States, where they
enjoyed becoming dual citizens in 2006.

The college plans to name a research laboratory in his name at the proposed
Center for the Study of Environmental Sciences, funded in part by his friends and colleagues at Prudential who wish to memorialize him in this way because of his great love for Saint Joseph's College.

According to President Lee, "His firm but gentle hand, and his example of selfless service, will continue to inspire the entire Saint Joseph's community. He will be sorely missed."